It takes but a moment with a quick google search to find that, Allan Rayman, is easily one of the most mysterious figures in music today… maybe ever. Despite having nearly 800k monthly listeners on Spotify, he does no interviews and not much is known about this enigma in music.
His debut album, Hotel Allan was dropped onto Spotify last fall. The record itself showcases an immense talent from Allan Rayman through a collection of thought provoking R&B that borders on a gritty rock and roll sound. For Allan, the inspiration behind the music is all about true love, death, introspection and isolation. Loving his music and letting it go to the outside world.
Not much is known about Allan, but all of that is about to change.
Allan Rayman has been the whisper on people’s lips for a while now.
Today marks the release of Allan Rayman’s newest project, Roadhouse 01. With it, fans of the enigmatic presence have been blessed with a deeper look into this man’s art. We’ve finally gotten to see a bit more of him – with a recent live performance on CBC and Billboard just earlier this week, and his first ever official interview with Billboard!
Allan Rayman has been putting a physical stamp on it. Speaking out about the music and showing his cards more than he ever had before. It’s a very exciting moment for fans who’ve been scratching their heads and making their own conclusions to the art he’s put forth so far.
To put it simply – Allan Rayman is the definition of a Best Kept secret… so let’s take a look at his newest release, Roadhouse 01 out now via Communion Records and 512 Productions.
Allan Rayman – Roadhouse 01 – out now!
Roadhouse 01 chronicles Allan’s retreat to an isolated cabin in the woods. While some artists are blessed with the ability to balance their passions and responsibilities, Allan Rayman found himself singularly consumed by his music, and retreat was the only option. There, deep in the woods outside the barely-on-the-map town, Allan set up residence and began to write and record a stunning sonic chronicle of his slow descent.
Wrestling with his demons in the form of a rebellious alter ego Mr. Roadhouse (whom we first met on Hotel Allan track M.Roadhouse/Last Night), the album covers a lot of narrative territory. Especially so on the closing tracks of the album where the antagonistic Mr. Roadhouse fully takes over. Much of Allan’s music seems to be done in the form of alter egos.
Stream ROADHOUSE 01 on Spotify now!
From start to finish, Roadhouse 01 is a journey of self-discovery. The album starts off with eerie ballad Wolf. Right off the bat, the haunting production and vocals are in classic Allan Rayman fashion. As the song plays, it’s chilling ark of piano and harsh strings send you to an internal place where the darkness lingers. A journey inward has begun.
A stand-out for me, December is a smooth R&B banger. Picking the tempo up, sonically this song feels fully rounded and very warm. Though the lyrics paint a beautiful contrast, they are cold.
“Love is something he knows nothing of. Don’t speak to him about love, he gave his all to her”
Sweetheart is the epitome of what I’ve come to know Allan’s music to be about – his privacy and lack of desire for fame. The song itself is beautifully laced with electric guitar and a deeply seductive blues essence that boasts sensuality.
“I’m running head down, not listening. I hear fame is the thing, I just don’t want to famous.” Allan sings with the most conviction and a tone like warm honey. “Well it’s this life and I face that. It’s a scary thought, let’s face facts. Like loose ends, loose friends, conversations that don’t end. Phone calls, missed texts, no interest just quick sex.”
Among the 13 tracks, there isn’t one that I do not like. My personal favourites (right now) are Shelby Moves, Head Over Heels and December.
Roadhouse 01 is a solid body of work. This is what the “album” is all about. An artist with a fully realized idea of what he wants to be, how he wants to be seen and what he wants you to hear. The concept for the record was mapped out during the production of Hotel Allan…and as he mentions in his interview the direction for Roadhouse 02 is continuing this trend.
AR: This whole storyline is here and now I just release these albums in whatever kind of order I want to fulfill that. I know I had to stick to the development of these characters that I’m portraying throughout the story and show that there’s an evolution of Allan Rayman, especially with Mr. Roadhouse, this alter ego that I’ve created. Whoever has been listening, it’s giving them more to sink their teeth into, but for newer people, I want to show this torment between someone who’s trying to balance personal desires in life — even though you want to give all your time to your profession you’ve got to give yourself to the people that love you as well. It’s balancing that, and ultimately Allan can’t do that. He creates Mr. Roadhouse to kind of justify his selfish and dickish behavior in a sense — put it all on him. It’s a dark story and I don’t know if the ending is going to be dark or light yet, I haven’t figured that out. But I want people to be concerned about this guy because it’s a heavy thing to fully invest yourself in your passion.” – Billboard
One thing I have noted and loved about Allan Rayman’s records is how many of the songs make a connection to each other. Often a sampled lyrical loop will be layered in the music. Combined with his visual art films, the story that is forming before our eyes is magical.
Allan Rayman hits up Montreal on his Hotel Allan tour this April 19 at La Sala Rosa.
This one is not to be missed, Montreal. Stream Roadhouse 01 above, and go buy yourself a copy!