It’s very rare to come across an artist who is so unapologetic about their art that they’re not willing to compromise or hide anything from their audience. On her latest release ‘Fall From Grace’, Rebel Yell is serving her soul on a silver platter with a side of heavy club music – which is something you definitely don’t see every day.
‘Fall From Grace’ has its fair share of club bangers scattered throughout its extensive tracklist. ‘Action’ has a frenetic beat that’s layered with distorted vocals and heavy techno samples that work so well together and infect you within seconds. ‘Orbit’ is gorgeous and uses classic house elements to really create a melody that flows seamlessly. ‘Orbit’ also perfectly juxtaposes ‘In Vain’, which features a thumping beat and crunchy samples to really emphasise the grit within the warped vocals. ‘Chronic’ swirls around a tale of “heartache” and “heartbreak”, whilst ‘Power Force’ has its empowering story listed up by trickling synths and a lighter beat.
Every single one of these songs shows just how well Rebel Yell can construct a great club track and also inject an emotional element to create something fantastic. Of course, not every song on ‘Fall From Grace’ is club-ready.
Rebel Yell decided to open ‘Fall From Grace’ with ‘Incredible Heat’, a spoken word track her collaborator, artist Hayden Dunham, recorded vocals for whilst in the bath. You can feel the spaciousness around the vocals as they echo over swirling synths and bursting samples. The vocals speak of “two entities” coming together and in a way, it presents a prologue of the entire album as the two entities can be perceived as club music and Rebel Yell. Club music doesn’t always have a story to tell, but Rebel Yell does and so these “two entities”colliding is essentially what you’re listening to on ‘Fall From Grace’ and ‘Incredible Heat’ tells you that from the get-go.
’Stop’, the track that closes the album, is quite similar to ‘Incredible Heat’. This track also utilises spoken word to emphasise a feeling of empowerment with heaving synths and a distorted helicopter sample presenting the image of a figure who has overcome a lot to find a defiant energy within themselves.
The defiance continues on ‘Retribution’, a song that has underlying anger that charges it forward. Heavy techno synths bring in the track with a fast-paced beat and angsty lyrics. The song is staunch and has a raw power you notice almost immediately. This song tells you Rebel Yell is not here to play games and anyone who’s thinking of playing games with her isn’t welcome – which is fair enough!
If you’re starting to think that ‘Fall From Grace’ is all doom and gloom, don’t worry. ‘Pump’, a collaboration with Marcus Whale, lifts the mood up a bit and brings a more carefree energy onto the album. This was the first song to really capture me and I’m not really sure why. It’s a bit sexy, a bit cheeky and still so sharp that it oozes precision and intricacy. ‘Pump’ is full of freedom and it’s dance-influenced melody really lifts your spirits, but then again, so does ‘Anti Club Music’.
I’m not sure if ‘Anti Club Music’ was intended to be fun, but it definitely is. Ironically, this song wouldn’t feel out of place at a club, but the visceral textures on the track give it the extra oomph it needs to lift above the average club track we’d all be used to hearing. The industrial samples used on this track really give it a spaciousness and make it feel more raw, even when the more traditional synths do eventually join the party mid-way through the track.
‘Fall From Grace’ is an album full of textures and elements that aren’t traditionally used in club music and honestly, that’s what makes it so infectious. Rebel Yell’s music is unpredictable, uncompromising and strong and this album really brings those elements to the forefront of the listener. Nothing here is traditional and that’s just the way it should be!