Current-day rap and R&B is full of woozy 3am heartbreak, maudlin poetry and embarrassing #TMI set to hazy burbling beats that -- after 10 or 20 or 82 radio plays -- all start to sound the same.
Rayana Jay could have ridden that wave: Xanax, introversion, passive-aggressive pleading. Instead, she dropped "Magic," one of the single-most liberating and joyous songs ever to sprout from Bay Area soil, right in the middle of the harrowing claustrophobia of 2017.
Releasing a shameless love song with a buoyant melody amidst so much quasi-moody "push me to the edge / all my friends are dead" pap on the airwaves would be enough to win me over. But the driving, unflinching eighth-note bass riff that carries the song and the playful call-and-response of the chorus is the stuff true hits are made of.
A similar optimism carries Morning After’s other single, "Everything," a confession of love over a lithe bounce and a weaving, buzzy sub-bass. Most of Morning After could be a classic beat tape on its own. In fact, Jay has always had a knack for finding great producers. And though there are some familiar faces in the production credits here (Drew Banga, Mikos tha Gawd, Kev Choice), "Magic" (produced by ROMderful) and "Everything" (Gabriel Lambirth) come from relatively obscure names.