Some of my favorite reviews to write are for the blog’s repeat musicians, and RAGS AND RICHES has never even left my radar! The Lexington, Kentucky-based american pop-punk project was formed in 2017, and over the past two years, Tanner and Peyton have worked hard to “[discover] their unique sound, identity, and aesthetic.” The resulting debut single, “Speed of Sound” collected over 650,000 streams on Spotify and over 500,000 views on YouTube less than three months after its February 2019 release.
Their previous release, which I was lucky enough to review, was their debut EP, Arrival, an upbeat, well-produced record that could entice music lovers from various genres, including fans of groups like Boston Manor, Coldplay, Young the Giant, and Broken Field Runner.
Now, the boys are back with a brand new single that manages to step it up even another level! Released on September 20, 2019, the new track, titled “Not a Stranger” continues building the momentum of the band’s career in a way you don’t want to miss out on.
[All images and video courtesy and property of RAGS AND RICHES]
On their social media, RAGS AND RICHES touts the track as a song “for anyone struggling with self doubt.” Their message is that “you are not alone in this fight” and you need to “push through the negative thoughts holding you back” so you can “just learn how to fly.” This message echoes the love and positive vibes of their last track, and it’s easy to feel the band’s pure connection to these messages in “Not a Stranger,” too.
“Not a Stranger” begins with the intensity listeners have grown to expect from RAGS AND RICHES. Heartbeat-like pounding and buzzing electronic beats lead us into a quieter, melodic instrumental section before the vocals come in. The waves of intensity matched with calm, xylophone-like rhythms and interesting percussion throughout the track create the perfect party song, but also something that’s fun to listen to when working out or just relaxing.
When combined with the accompanying video, which is like something out of Netflix’s The I-Land, the track explodes even more. Well-produced and cinematic, the video tells a story of its own, but still ties into the song in a way that weaves storylines together. It also serves to show off Tanner and Peyton’s unique style and charisma, allowing even those who can’t make it to a live show to experience something close.
Of course, the vocals are also one of the highlights of the track: With smooth, warm tones and an easy energy, the delivery of the lyrics allows for them to shine. Like the brothers mentioned, “Not a Stranger” exhibits a journey of finding yourself, and serves as a reminder for fans to never give up: “Looking at my history / I’m no extraordinaire / Just living close to the straight, the narrow / Missing all the things that I have loved / I have loved, but never known / Caught in the in-between / I’m not a stranger, yet strangely / I’ve not been myself lately / I’m not myself, not myself / I’ve gotta get a grip, gotta get a grip.” As many listeners will experience in the real world, there are times when life will feel fake, or not worth it. The journey of the character in “Not a Stranger” shows that it is always possible to turn things around and make the life you want a reality.
To connect with RAGS AND RICHES, check out their social media or mentions of them in previous posts…
***Like the majority of my reviews, a submission fee was charged for this post.***