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News |  24 Jun 2021 15:30 |  By RnMTeam

Jordan Rakei shares intimate new track "Family", announces new album 'What We Call Life'

MUMBAI: Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, and songwriter Jordan Rakei returns with his fourth studio album, ‘What We Call Life’, scheduled for release on 17th September via Ninja Tune.

On ‘What We Call Life’, Jordan dives deeper into his sonic world, merging electronic with acoustic, and rugged grooves with ambient atmospheres, to create something richer, more detailed, and more textural than before. Jordan, already a practitioner of meditation and mindfulness, was curious about the potential of using therapy for further self-discovery. During the process, he began to learn more about his behaviour patterns and anxieties, and addressed his long-standing irrational phobia of birds – a fear often associated with the unpredictable and the unknown, and something explored in the album’s creative direction and visuals. “As we worked through it, it made me realise I would love to talk about the different lessons I learned from therapy in my music: about my early childhood, my relationship with my parents and siblings, becoming independent in London, being in a new marriage, understanding how my marriage compares to the relationship my parents had”, Jordan says.

These themes on self-discovery manifest on songs like lead single “Family”, which Jordan describes as “the most personal” he has ever been with his lyrics. About the track, he explains, “I wanted to hit my vulnerability barrier and be really honest. It’s about my parents’ divorce in my mid-teens but still having love for them no matter what,”

The album artwork was created by visual artist Justin Tyler Close (who has worked previously with the likes of Laura Marling), who resonated with the themes on Jordan's new album. The melancholic artwork reflects the title of the record, a question that Jordan would sometimes ask himself during a period of his childhood in which he suffered a great deal of anxiety: Is this what we call life? Rather than accepting defeat, the title is today a commentary on the more happy, confident, and assured person and artist that Jordan Rakei is today.

With so many artists being influenced by his style, it would have been easy for Jordan to stay in the same musical lane; but, as in life, he is determined to move his music forward. Such introspective subjects are a departure from Jordan's last album, 2019’s ‘Origin’. Raising big questions about the way that technology and social media interferes with our sense of humanity, ‘Origin’ received praise from notable platforms like The Observer, Mixmag, Complex, and GQ, earned an unexpected shout-out from Elton John, led to a collaboration with rap legend Common, and saw Jordan give a show-stopping performance for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series.

No stranger to collaboration, Jordan is closely associated with friends and collaborators like Loyle Carner (with whom he co-wrote, produced and performed on “Ottolenghi” and the Jorja Smith-featuring “Loose Ends”), Tom Misch and Alfa Mist. He has also joined Chic’s Nile Rodgers for a writing session and recorded with Terrace Martin, producer for Kendrick and Snoop Dogg, and Herbie Hancock.