Rhye ~ Pushing Barriers and Leaving an Impact

Being a music nerd, it takes a lot for an artist or group to catch me off guard and impress me these days.  After surfing around NPR’s music site last night, I went to bed happy.  I discovered someone that amazed me.  I discovered Rhye.

Upon initial listen, I got lost in the intricate layering of the instrumentation and the vocals.  The vocals intrigued me most of all.  The mellow, even-toned vocalist dances through each song, leaving a relaxed vibe in the air.  Once I was about halfway through the song, I started to think: “Is this a man or a woman?” From here, the research began.

Rhye is an all male pop/easy listening duo that is playfully nudging the intersectionality of gender and sexual identity.

The melodies are smooth, the harmony is warming and the gender distinction is 100% irrelevant.  Perhaps that is the point of the group; perhaps they are purposefully challenging cultural norms and gendered boxes.  I don’t know for sure as of yet, but I am completely intrigued and lost in them.

It is unbelievably refreshing to find such a provocative sound and group, that both compel my ears, my mind, and my soul.  I haven’t listened all the way through an album, but I am working on doing so as I wrote this post.

Currently, I have their 2013 album “Woman” pulled up and am enjoying every measure.  This is their first official, full length release, from the Polydor (U.K.) label.  The duo consists of Denmark native, Robin Braun and Canadian, Mike Milosh.  Together, their individual strengths and skills combine to create something amazing.

The vocals are gender neutral and the lyrics (to this point) have been completely neutral of sexual identity.  This is so important in today’s social and cultural realms, both artistically and conventionally.  With so much media and exposure, there tends to be a strong urge and need to convey one type of being and livelihood – generally heteronormative.  Even when other lifestyles come into focus, the hyper-sexualization and superficial values are clear.  On the contrary, Rhye’s music calls out to everyone – to love, to companionship, to music, to soul.

All I know at this point, is that I’m nerding out and will be listening on and on.

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