Brothers Daniel and Jesse Reaux began performing as The Rayo Brothers at a songwriting competition in their home town of Lafayette, Louisiana. Recruiting Lance Kelehan on drums and Jordan Ardoin on bass, they recorded their debut album Gunslinger in 2014 to significant critical acclaim, followed three years later by Take You For A Drive. The band added violinist Nikia Yung for their debut record on the Nouveau Electric Record label, Victim & Villain, which was released on Louis Michot’s Nouveau Electric Records imprint. The new album was recorded at Maurice, Louisiana’s renowned Dockside Studio by Grammy-winning engineer Tony Daigle who also mixed the set. Michot of Grammy-winners Lost Bayou Ramblers co-produced Victim & Villain with the Brothers’ Jesse Reaux.
The songs on Victim & Villain are deeply rooted in folk and old timey Country Music traditions; they started out as simply lyrics and melody, voice and acoustic guitar. In the recording studio, the band then fleshed them out with tough-rockin’ full-bodied electric guitars, Bluegrass style banjo, Jesse and Daniel Reaux’s signature sibling harmonies and pedal steel guitar to bring out their C&W influences.
The theme of many of Victim & Villain‘s numbers is recognizing and accepting life’s tougher realities, and devising positive ways of coping with them. The protagonists of these songs confront their own weakness, dishonesty and darkness and make the decision to address them rather than seeking a scapegoat or an escape; they realize that their relationships are flawed. They accept that suffering is an inevitable part of life but choose to avoid becoming embittered; they choose the high road – to create a life worth the pain endured. All the material on Victim & Villain lies somewhere on this spectrum of self-realization and personal growth, most especially the title track.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the band’s new single “Undead” ahead of its release on March 19th. The song tells the story of a love-sick soul stuck in limbo after a relationship has ended, unready or unable to move on. Carrying a cheery, almost-surf-folk vibe provided by the strumming guitar, rolling banjo, and grooving rhthym section, not to mention a nice hook in the beginning featuring some grade A whistling, the music is contrasted with darker lyrics and melancholy. Bringing to mind groups like the Avett Brothers but with a sound that is more rooted in country and rock and lyrics that are far less cheesy, “Undead” is a prime example of the musical chemistry of the Rayo Brothers. It’s also catchy and thoughtful, and is further proof that the band is well deserving of widespread acclaim.
Daniel Reaux (songwriter, lead vocal for this track) describes the inspiration behind the song:
“Undead explores what it means to become the sum of your experiences. The song has a pretty unique feel for our band, both musically and lyrically. It seemed to propel itself off on its own path as it was written. We didn’t try to mold it into a certain genre or steer it in a different direction. It felt like it drove itself.”