There are several elements to great vocals in electronica. Depending on the subgenre, they might be the only directly human mark on the track. Therefore, vocals must be two things at once; they must be able to seamlessly blend in with the instrumental, while possessing an unparalleled beauty of tone and quality. Angela Reign is a talented vocalist that does just that. Somewhere between indie, rock, and country, the Atlanta artist has produced three remixes of her songs “Tall Drink of Water,” “Music Within,” and “Reckless Kind,” in which she blends her country rock sound with dance beats. In these remixes, the genre shape shifter has morphed into an electronica vocalist.
Reign serves up “Tall Drink of Water” with an opening that bounces like disco and the guitar chomping at the bit, until the vocals come in. The song maintains its rock edge, particularly during the short and sharp guitar riffs. Reign brings her voice from verses with attitude and the rambunctious revelry of a solid rock chorus. Her vocal control is so supreme; she shifts from growls to a full out belt in a matter of milliseconds. This shift seems to parallel the bittersweet backhandedness of the line, You tall drink of water, you sure do love yourself.
“Music Within” begins with a clean electro beat, reassuring and optimistic. Reign’s clear vocals come in, exhaling life into the song. The lyrics, delivered with a positivity to challenge that of the soundtracks to entertainment created for children, encourage the listener to find the rhythm… ‘cause there’s music within. Reign’s voice carries the beneficence of a magnanimous monarch with lots of taffeta and perfect hair. Clearly, she knows what she’s singing about. The song demonstrates the message in a literal sense, but there’s a metaphor in there. The music swells with the vocals to peer through the fogged-up panes of glass in the windows to the house of gospel before turning back to the progressive and computer-smart sound.
As “Reckless Kind” begins, synth washes toward the listener like a leisurely tide. A hint of vocals, progressing gradually through modulated repetitions from unrecognizable to intelligible, tantalize the listener like a bird teases a fish, darting and diving. Vocals surf in on choppy waves of synth, gaining momentum until cruising through the verses to the chorus, which features a vocal melody somewhere between country hit and rock ballad, with acoustic and rock guitar discernable in the mix. The country, EDM, and rock influences bob like different colored rope amongst the waves of sound. Through the lyrics Reign proclaims herself the reckless kind, a woman who lives by the rules of her heart and head.
She made her debut at the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria last weekend. Photos from her onstage performance were captured by Adri Schilder, Anthony Capozzi, Guenter Floeck and Mike Waller.
Angela Reign is a rare talent who will likely need several full length albums to showcase her vocal range to the world. With seemingly infinite ability to shift from genre to genre with vocal agility and clarity, we have yet to see what Reign is truly capable of; from what I’ve heard, her lives shows are marvels, and her style will progress, always free and gelatinous, to heights unknown. Welcome to Reign’s Kingdom!