When we included Rag’N’Bone Man in our artists to listen out for in 2015, we had no idea that by the end of February he would have already released two superb new tunes and be just days away from the release of a new EP. Yet here we are and we are thoroughly enjoying it.
We say enjoy, given that “Disfigured” is perhaps his most overtly sombre and sullen track yet, ‘enjoy’ might not be the right word. But it is a fantastically brooding and dark song, more downtempo and grave than his previous work, more entrenched in Gospel influences perhaps but still superb.
When we featured his last track “Bitter End” just a few days ago, we noted that we could easily see him atop a pulpit, singing out to his congregation of like-minded disciples, and that rings even more true with “Disfigured”. With the choral backing especially we can see him stood arms stretched wide, his gown draped over his shoulders as the congregation sway and nod in respectful recognition and empathy.
For this is not a happy clappy, halleluiah-praise-be-to-the-skies sermon he is preaching, this is a heartfelt down to earth, full of reality and heartache tale. “Along with all those lies / You tell yourself / You’ll be alright / There’s no kiss goodbye / Only the end / And only the night” he sings, his deep, gruff vocal conveying the kind of gravitas and emotion that brings tears to eyes and touches the soul.
”Disfigured” is the title track from Rag’N’Bone Man’s forthcoming EP, due 8 March, and is available to download instantly when you pre-order.