I was so happy to interview Chaska Potter of Raining Jane back in March and that I had the opportunity to watch the band perform again after being so impressed with them when they opened for Sara Bareilles. So naturally, it thrilled me to see that they put out another album, this time with the new songs they performed at both shows!
The Good Match is a ten-track CD (Available only through the band’s official website and at their merch booths, though there are plans to release the album digitally) that further reflects the four-girl band’s eclectic style of sound. Revolved around harmonies, unusual and classical instruments, and distinctive vocal styles, Raining Jane’s fourth studio effort mixes happy-go-lucky tunes, exquisitely aching ballads, and rocksteady jams for a truly artistic stronghold.
The opening title track is upbeat and one of the more conventional songs on the CD. It serves as a polite attention grabber, but shy to revealing the real treats of the other nine tracks. Or, you can interpret that it adds to the anticipation. Following “The Good Match” is the hopelessly catchy “Oh Song,” which sounds to be a song about songs and features the cajon. Then there’s “Storming,” a rousing ballad that elegantly uses weather as a metaphor for love. Along with “Enough,” a tune of encouragement, the couple falls more in the classically-influenced end of the band’s long musical spectrum.
On the other end would be the cutesy and fun songs—Like the “Oh Song,” but in their own elements. “A World That’s Made for Me and You,” “Paper Cut,” and “From Me to You” (Produced by Jason Mraz) are the bounciest tunes on the album, capable of turning every day to a summer day (Particularly the first one, which is uplifting in its ‘we can do anything’ themed-lyrics, tempo, and melody). Somewhere along the line, away from the whimsicality and “power” ballads, is Raining Jane’s unique and mystical cover of “Love is a Battlefield,” a staple at their live shows. With its inclusion of exotic percussion, the cello, and the sitar, you haven’t heard it done like this.
From the musical variety and immense songwriting, singing, and instrumental talent showcased by the ladies, down to the gorgeous album photos and glossy packaging (No, seriously, I am digging it—aesthetics matter to me!), The Good Match is not good, but an outstanding effort for an indie band. Every track is a true original (Even the one cover song is something that can’t be replicated) and makes up part of a complex, always-growing musical puzzle for Raining Jane. For a band that’s homegrown and so down-to-earth, there is something that is a little bit cosmic in that music.
KAREN RECOMMENDS: “New Year” — The closer at their recent live shows and also on the album, this sentimental ballad—about the bittersweet ends and new beginnings associated with the new year, hence the title—is reflective of the harmonies the ladies are known for, but at their most pure. All that accompanies three vocalists is a nylon-string guitar.