We first encountered Rag’N’Bone Man when our good friends at Breaking More Waves started getting excited about his most recent release, “Hell Yeah”. Soon we too were getting very excited, perhaps even more excited, about this huge tune of soulful hip-pop.
Soon we were exploring and dived head first into his (still free) EP, Wolves, which, while lighter on the hip-hop element, is equally fantastic. His Mark Lanegan-esque vocals are raw, powerful and full of soul, yet they also feel tender and brittle with emotion at times.
As well as the very modern production and occasional guest verses from up and coming rappers and Mercury nominated Kate Tempest (donchaknow) Wolves is rich with historical music references. These are most notably blues, soul and gospel but also with repetitive call outs that put one in mind of the songs of the Underground Railroad, which suggests that Rory Graham is a real student of music as well as a damn good creator of it.
He’s already selling out shows and having venues upgraded and has worked with some very impressive people (the aforementioned Miss Tempest for example) making some utterly fantastic and raw music. So the fact that only two hype machine blogs (including our own) has featured him so far is quite bewildering to us. He is reportedly working on new music for next year so with any luck, 2015 will see that change for the better.
The ‘Wolves’ EP is out now and available as a free download here.