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What we're listening to: Rayana Jay, 'Destiny 2' and Cobalt


Rayana Jay


Richard Lawler

Richard Lawler
Senior News Editor

The older I get, the more tempting it is to relax in an exclusive cocoon of music I’ve already heard and avoid the loud noises coming from today’s youth, but occasionally something breaks through. The latest intruder is Rayana Jay, a singer from the Bay Area whose new EP arrived just in time to match a surprising extension of summer weather.

Like her first release, Sorry About Last Night, this project includes several collaborators, but two tracks with fellow streaming standout ROMderful distinguish themselves. Unlike too many soundalike R&B productions, “Magic” revives bounce in a way the genre has been missing without sounding dated, while “Play Thing” (feat. Innanet James)” brings a guitar element that’s unique without overwhelming the track. With Morning After, Jay has moved on to what she calls “the bounce back, the glow up and everything else that comes after the storm.”

The cringe-worthy ups and downs of early-20s relationships are on full display in her work (Fader accurately called SALN “one of the most relatable projects you’ll hear this year”), with songwriting that’s accessible even for the olds. Even though my exploits have mostly moved from overwrought breakups and late-night mistakes to day parties and baby showers, it’s nice to see these SoundCloud-era kids grow up in real time with content that matches their evolving production skills.

Cobalt


Timothy J. Seppala

Timothy J. Seppala
Associate Editor