Blackpool’s Rae Morris has been jobbing as a singer-songwriter for a couple years now – most recently, on indie-folk act Bombay Bicycle Club’s “Luna” — but her collaborator for her proper debut is sure to give her a boost: L.A.’s Ariel Rechtshaid, who’s become something of a producer du temps (and the recipient of a left-field Grammy nomination) by working with acts as diverse as Charli XCX (True Romance), Haim (Days are Gone), Sky Ferreira (Night Time, My Time), Usher (Looking 4 Myself) and Vampire Weekend (Modern Vampires of the City). He doesn’t have a signature sound so much as a signature aesthetic — not showy, nor retro exactly, but nostalgic: dizzying, like looking down from a height, or sparkling and distant like a mirage. As writer Mike Powell put it in a recent Grantland profile, “[Rechtshaid] takes you back to a place you think you’ve been and makes you feel like you’ve never seen it before.”
“Do You Even Know,” from an upcoming EP of the same name, is another spritz of Rechtshaid shimmer, and thanks to Morris, possibly the most winsome yet. Her scrunchy voice and earnest lyrics (“Do you even know that I keep everything in? Do you even know me at all?”) will no doubt earn her comparisons to a pre-EDM Ellie Goulding, or maybe a wider-eyed Lorde, but Morris, even more than either, lets herself get lost in the production, sounding both blissed-out and lonely at once.
There’s plenty to get lost in, too: expanse after expanse of filtered guitar, celestial piano and strings (the last arranged by classical composer Nico Muhly, who worked with Rechtshaid on Usher’s art-R&B hit “Climax.”) True to Rechtshaid’s form, the track doesn’t feel crowded — or worse, overly precocious — but rather struck by a gorgeous mood. Promising new talents emerge every day, but few have showcases this fitting.