Somewhere in the liminal space between being awake and asleep exists a personal dreamscape for us all. This hypnagogic psychological state is often believed to be the key to self-discovery and accessing one’s own unconscious mind. This claim is debatable. But what can be said, is that the foggy and iridescent state of hypnagogia seems to be the space in which new album Citrus - from atmospheric pop outfit Rnie - exists.
At the intersection of dreamy lofi-pop and droney ambient soundscapes sits Citrus. Much like lucid dreams the album is hazy yet intelligible, and meditative yet introspective. A pensive and comforting cloud hangs overhead like a cozy sonic sort of overcast. Glimmering moments of soft yearning permeate through the fog, resulting in a prolonged sense of contemplation throughout the album. Brown’s vocals are sparse, sounding distant and distorted. This may prompt listeners to write the record off as funky, updated elevator music, but to their dismay. Attentive listening will reveal his carefully crafted, intimate, and eloquent lyricism. The hypnotic and tender nature of Citrus solidifies its role as the sonic shaman to both lull you to sleep or ease you gently into your day.
The project’s aesthetic has grown and changed significantly since their debut release Fiji Afterglow; now taking on a more distant and dazed, effects-driven driven atmosphere in place of their once more pop inspired sound. But the more upbeat, sticky sweet sounds of tracks like “Homeroom” and “Cherries” will undoubtedly trigger nostalgia. While songs like “Wax”, “Earth Angel” and title track “Citrus” loop cozy fuzzed out sounds for introspection. Every track of the album seems to melt into the next seamlessly, carrying the listener through a range of emotions, resulting in a liquid kaleidoscopic journey that transforms depending on where - or who - you are when you imbibe.