The hum of a needle on wax sounds mighty similar to the patter of rain on a window. Javier Rodriguez uses this perspective shift to create a unique space for his heady beats. He released two other records last year (not including the one that dropped on January 1st of 2020), and I frequently returned to The Rain Songs for its steady comfort.
That cascading hum appears in some form all over the record, whether as part of the beat or just an accent on the intro or outro. Though perhaps ironic, the sound is warm, and it reminds me of simpler times when I was still living in south Florida. Torrential downpours start and end without notice, and Rodriguez allows me to savor every moment. He says on his personal page, “the rain saved me,” and though there is no context for what came before, the music is certainly healing.
The mixtape is rife with quiet experimentation, reminiscent of old Tom Misch. There are a few warbling voices you hear along the way, but the crashing snare is the real star. With enough listens, all nine or 14 songs (depending on where you found the record) bleed together, carrying us like a raft around the neighborhood after a flood. And if it had actually rained as much as I have heard these tracks, someone will need to build an arc before I drown in The Rain Songs.
Best Albums of 2019
8. Javier Rodriguez – The Rain Songs