Best Music Spotlight

These Tears – Stephen Rainey

Photograph of the blog post author, Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan Robinson


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The heartfelt vocal delivery grabs you immediately. Opening with nothing more than a voice and an acoustic guitar, These Tears says exactly enough as it leads into its main body.

These Tears

Stephen Rainey takes the best of recent decades’ singer songwriters and embodies it all. Simple and evocative instrumental performances maintain the accessibility of the genre. Merging together to create a bed of familiar harmonic content to be used as a backdrop for Rainey’s emotional vocal performance.

Though fundamental in the voicings used and stylistic approach, subtle performative points keep the accompaniment engaging. Inversed voicings on the acoustic guitar create a contrapuntal melody that gently emphasises the resolving phrases of the voice. Cadential progression choices further reinforce the accessibility of the composition.

This same relationship between voice and guitar excellently announces and characterises the different sections of the work. While instilling a responsive duet during the verses, the choruses are recognisable by their embrace of less explorative melody. Chorally shifting to a more coloured and quality-laden arrangement, suddenly the harmonic implications in the higher guitar voicings reflect and mirror the key tones in the vocal delivery.

This technique of creating individualised elements within the instrumentation gives a greater sense of depth to the work. Further, when the sections suddenly combine to a one minded delivery the dynamic impact is both moving and effective.

These Tears is an expressive and genuine delivery of emotion. For fans of acoustic singer-songwriter outputs, this isn’t one to miss.

  • Overall rating: 8/10
  • Pairs well with: You Found Me – The Fray

Stream ‘These Tears’ on Spotify:

Follow Stephen Rainey on:

Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

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