RAHM gives us a real character sketch and story with “To Live Without Her.” It’s the story of an old man living in a rural area near a city in a house full of memories years after his wife has passed. With a elegant swells of atmosphere from keys and synth around a piano figure, we hear how the old man seems to have his own kind of living death without the woman who gave his life some meaning and structure, days going by, going through the motions for “twenty-one” years and sleeping through holidays and complaining about winter, looking forward to summer but with nothing much else going on and no one with whom to share his life and perhaps nudge him out of his routine. We can all fall into such habits in our lives and “live” but not truly live and come to rest in a kind of inauthentic state of personal dullness when we could choose to do something with our time other than count down the days until we die, whether we acknowledge that or not. The song casts no judgment but looks on such an existence with curiosity, compassion and recognition of how our relationships, our occupations and our friends shape us and guide us in ways that we don’t think much about, especially in the culturally and socially atomized present in which we’re increasingly isolated and encouraged toward a corrosive rugged individualism. RAHM’s song mourns that reality by casting this reality in the utterly relatable song about an old man already there as a way of seeing that possibility in ourselves as we get older. Listen to “To Live Without Her” on Soundcloud where you can also follow RAHM.
From the beginning of “Something Different” by RAHM it feels like we’re entering into a realm of music that free associates Scott Walker, Giorgio Moroder, downtempo, Flamenco and hymns. It gives the spare arrangements a subtle lushness that sounds like something that we would have heard on some European variety show in the 1970s that is unabashedly romantic and unself-aware even as the song expresses a keen sensitivity into moods and unexpressed pain of a loved one while poetically describing the moment. Perhaps the vibe is more like something out of a Sergio Leone movie that doesn’t take place in the mythical old west but instead a relationship drama in Italy. The orchestral arrangements border on the otherworldly informed by a sense of mystery like the theme song to a long lost classic film. Listen to “Something Different” on Soundcloud and follow RAHM there as well.