Steven Raekwon Reynolds records meditative bedroom indie rock under the name S. Raekwon. In his official bio, he explains how the moniker is his way of claiming ownership over a part of himself he spent many years hiding:
Growing up I suppressed this name. I hid it from my friends and those I met. Being biracial and raised by a white single mother, questions of identity consumed me as a child. They still do. And while much has changed since then, I will forever be shaped by those feelings and experiences. I want to make songs that are honest. Releasing them under my middle name seems to be the most honest thing I can do.
Reynolds is releasing his next 7″ through Saddle Creek’s Document Series, which previously issued singles from the likes of Disq, Hovvdy, Palehound, and Hand Habits. Its A-side, “Parts Toward Whole,” reminds me of the languid, internet-native indie of a bygone era — think early Grizzly Bear.
Reynolds had this to say about the song:
Writing and recording this song felt like a moment of clarity after passing through a terrible storm. I had just weeks prior finished a collection of songs, which I had been working on for roughly a year, that were defined by their shared sense of purpose — they were all written during, and reflected, a period in my life that felt colorless. After finishing those works, and in the process healing my relationships with myself and those around me, I felt a renewed desire to work on music for the simple pleasure of making music, without the added weight of it needing to fit or reflect a predetermined narrative or to help serve as a diaristic and therapeutic way of managing my emotions.
The resulting song, “Parts Towards Whole,” felt much looser, though no less meaningful, than anything I had written before. At its core, it is a song about the complicated path of sustaining a meaningful relationship. A song about how we are all children when it comes to loving someone else, and about how there is both beauty and doubt at the heart of that feeling and the inevitable conclusion of following it to its most fully realized endpoint: the process of becoming whole with another person.
“Parts Toward Whole” b/w “A Crow’s Smile” is out 2/7 on Saddle Creek. Pre-order it here.