Review: Chill Out To Jordan Rakei’s “Cloaks”

If you’ve never heard of Jordan Rakei until now, you have just stumbled upon something very special.

With uni exams and mid-year work stress growing strong at the moment, I think it’s important to take a moment, find a quiet space and relax. Rakei’s new album Cloaks can help you do that.

It seems to promote mindfulness and the silencing of the millions of thoughts that can cloud our heads at once. Rakei confirmed this as he explained concept of the album:

“It was close to midnight. I found myself silently standing on a beach in Piha, staring at the stars. I’d never seen the stars like that before. There was a stillness and oneness that resonated with me. I finally came to terms with the insignificance of “us” and set myself on a quest of self-discovery through music and meditation. It was a war against my pre-conditioned mind, but one I was willing to fight.”

It’s a good idea to keep this in mind while listening to it in order to fully understand and appreciate his delivery of each track. Close your eyes and let it take you somewhere far away.

Midnight Mischief starts us off in the right place, perfectly introducing us to his sound. It echoes a sweet modern-jazz melody to go along with his smooth voice, ticking all the boxes in a matter of seconds. The mellow beat sets the scene for the wonderful tracks that follow as we embark on the journey through the album.

The sensual and romantic Talk To Me tells a great story within its arrangement. The combination of instruments is stunning. The lightness of his voice bounces off the percussion, piano and strings as he sings his beautiful lyrics. The bold guitar strums provide an interesting reccurring pattern that adds a personality to the song. The sudden surge of music demonstrates how quickly feelings and relationships can progress, and how quickly they can just stop. The passion within the notes grows stronger as the song continues before it ends without slowing down.

One of my favourite tracks is, remarkably, the interlude. Still has a simple slow melody, allowing the listener to focus on his beautiful voice. Coming straight after the chaotic Talk To Me allows us a break to calm back down and absorb his passion and soulfulness that scream in this short, yet amazing track. His instructions are clear. “As the place comes// As the thought slide under // Focus on one // Please take me under.” Listen as his voice speaks to your soul.

We realise that the best songs seems to be in the middle of the album as he takes us to Rooftop. With the slow melody like the previous track and beautiful words that teach us exactly how to find out inner calmness and inspiration from deep inside yourself. “I’ve found love // But it’s home sweet home now// Mute conversation// More time alone.” Being truly alone has become a difficult thing with technology constantly capturing our attention, but it’s perfectly easy to do when you switch off.

I’ll talk about every song if I could, but I’d be typing this all day. That’s exactly what the album is telling me to not do. We end the album with Tawo, which reenforces the message and purpose of the album. Tune in to the light, calm melody. Concentrate on interpreting the story his gorgeous voice is portraying. Make the most of the final five minutes away from the world before you have to go back.

Treat your senses and let the sweet sounds from inside the creative mind of Jordan Rakei clear your worries and help you find yourself among the craziness of real life.

Cloaks is available now. Buy here.

Image: Play Bar