Loraine James has taken the electronic music genre to new heights and distances over the past few years. My introduction to her music was through her 2019 album For You and I, a hard-hitting, glitchy body of work that made me fall in love with her eclectic sonic arrangements and experimental production as a whole. Since then, sh’es released another incredible album in Reflection, which felt more intimate and complete as anything she’s released up until now. Both albums were released on Hyperdub Records and to me stand strong in comparison to some of the other legendary releases coming out of that label in the last decade or so. She is back under a new alias – Whatever The Weather, with a new refreshing sound and an album that is equally as textured and beautiful as her other albums. Classed more so as an ambient album, she is able to evoke more delicate and at times sombre moods through her music, as synths dance through the lush soundscapes throughout the 46 minutes on the album.
It kicks off with “25°C”, a soothing, melodic opener, with smooth and sweet synth leads, subtle vocals and an immersive soundscape that is so engulfing. It sets the tone for the album, though what follows it – “0°C” has a much more upbeat tone to it. Inspired by some of the sonic arrangements Aphex Twin had mastered in the late 90s and early 00s, the vibrant energy each groove and beat give is just so infectious. “17°C” similarly features jittery grooves that jump out, while being subdued behind the soothing, emotive synth. The gorgeous, piano-led “14°C” is one of the more mesmerising moments on the album, with a truly reflective, inspiring mood that is just so uplifting. After the jittery “2°C (Intermittent Rain)”, the album gets warmer with the percussion and synth-heavy “10°C”, a track that sounds like its hugging you and protecting you from the cold. “6°C”, with it’s mesmeric, playful keys makes it another beautiful moment on the album, while the dynamic and loud sound of “4°C” almost feeling violent in the context of the overall sounds and textures on the album. “30°C” is a looped electronic masterpiece, with piano melodies and vocals being cut and chopped perfectly throughout. The warm synths of “36°C” shine through like sunlight through beaming and reflecting on water, a bright, soothing sound that is truly hypnotic. “28°C (Intermittent Sunshine)” feels like the album being reborn again, or at the start of the reincarnation process. The unnerving and jumpty electronic synths are looped and chopped repeatedly, and makes for an oddly uplifting and peaceful ending.
As Whatever The Weather, Loraine James has been able to capture an immersive and vulnerable aura on her eponymous album, and Whatever The Weather is a truly special moment that will for sure be among the best albums to come out this year. It’s such a textured, animated listen, and one that is perfect for the spring weather. Listen to Whatever The Weather’s eponymous album below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support!