Band To Watch

Band To Watch: The Rayographs

The Rayographs are a UK trio. At first listen they’re reminiscent of Grace Slick working with the Breeders, but they tap into a dark psychedelia that’s quite different than the sounds created by the sisters Deal. A closer approximation would be a piano-free White Magic. It’s lame to affix a bunch of female comparisons to an all-female band, but the comparisons fit (as does a mention of Patti Smith, sorry). To move beyond that, though, and deeper into the Rayographs themselves, the band’s made up of guitarist/vocalist Astrud Steehouder, bassist/vocalist Jessamine Tierney, and drummer/sometime vocalist Amy Hurst. The three create a dark, intense, rollicking sound, but the real hook is Steehouder’s voice. It’s where the Grace Slick comparison comes into play. Check out her repetitions of “everyone needs a heroine” in “Green Light” or the power she puts into “Hidden Doors.”

The Rayographs – “Hidden Doors” (MP3)
The Rayographs – “Gold Light” (MP3)

The above tracks = the band’s first 7″: The A Side’s “Hidden Doors” and the AA side’s “Golden Light.” They released it via Everyone We Know in a handmade (black lino) edition of 500. You can order a copy at their MySpace. Speaking of which, the Rayographs are the rare band who have MySpace updates that are actually worth reading. See, for instance, their thoughts toward a William Blake project. If you’re in Paris: They play 4/11 at La Fleche D’Or. Steehouder said to expect “quite a few shows” before that date, too. Otherwise, expect a second single out in late March. They’re also writing material for their full-length debut.

[Photo Polly Clegg]