Rapt’s “Last Night In Exile” is a Gorgeously and Tenderly Unsettling Atmospheric Folk Depiction of a Haunting Homecoming

Rapt, photo courtesy the artist

In setting the hushed vocals, some lines in falsetto, in an elegantly detailed series of repeated acoustic guitar lines and the ghost of synths in the background, more prominent later, Rapt craft a bleak yet deeply evocative scene with “Last Night in Exile.” It’s reminiscent of an even more pastoral and desolated Fairport Convention of solo Richard Thompson in using intricacy to weave a mood more than simply an unconventional melody. Jacob Ware’s vocals complement well Demi Haynes’ leads and both serve as a guide through a song that appears to capture the conflicted feelings of coming back to a place that was once your home and the sense of displacement changes can impose on your memory as memories of all the good times and bad come drifting back in waves that can feel too intense to take in all at once and threaten to overwhelm your heart not with the most poignant of feelings but the kind that haunt and linger and erode your sense of an identity you built outside your old contexts. But the song’s gentle spirit in the end suggests how this is merely a feeling no matter how powerful it seems and that you can wade through its shadowy energy and face the way the world you once knew has changed and take it on its own terms and on your own new sense of self. It is a song that is the inversion of nostalgia and the warm feelings that come with it and it is precisely that which gives it a depth beyond the obvious masterful composition and nuanced atmospherics orchestrated to tug at the parts of the mind we often try to avoid. Listen to “Last Night In Exile” on Spotify and follow Rapt at the links below. On Bandcamp the very limited edition of the full album Wayward Faith vinyl (with a section called “Diaries” that is a copy of a two part diary/journal that Ware kept during the making of the album) and cassette are also available shipping from Slovakia or France in early 2023.

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