Allan Rayman - "Word Of Mouth" (Communion Records/Universal Music Canada): In an unobtrusive, under the radar fashion, this Toronto singer/songwriter has begun to have a real impact. He recently received a Juno Award nomination as Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and such numbers as 70 Million+ streams on digital platforms and high viewing counts for his videos have made the industry take notice.
2017's R&B-leaning full-length Roadhouse 01 (his second album) has broken through, and a 35 date tour last fall featured sold out dates throughout the US, Canada and Europe at venues like Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, Warsaw in New York City, and Omeara in London.
He released a new EP, Courtney, in November, further fuelling the momentum. "Word Of Mouth" is one of its focus cuts, and a video clip for it premiered last week. Directed by Steph Verschuren, and conceptualized by Rayman, the on-the-road video was shot on his tour with wow scenes taken in the US desert states and Europe.
"Word Of Mouth" showcases Rayman's intriguingly eclectic sound. There's an R&B feel in the groove, while his gritty and soulful vocals have a grunge-like quality. Add in some resonant electric guitar and you have a hybrid that is hard to define but easy to enjoy.
Early promo campaigns for Rayman portrayed him as an elusive man of mystery. When he finally broke his media silence a year ago in a Billboard interview, he modestly claimed "I’m a pretty average dude with a pretty boring story... I'm not going to wow you with my background."
He is wowing us with his music though, and it makes him into a genuine contender.