Raf Rundell is about to Unleash a Giant: ‘O.M. Days’ is the DJ’s Second Album, and it’s a Joyful, Wise Beast
When the late, great Andrew Weatherall encourages, “You’re getting the hang of this – keep going!” upon the release of your debut album, you know you’re doing something right, but you also know that you’ve got no choice but to, well – keep going. Raf Rundell received a call from the stalwart DJ and producer following the release of 2018’s Stop Lying. Now, almost three years on, Rundell is set to unveil his second album O.M. Days, an immense ten-track collection that showcases his utter commitment to the creation of pure, authentic music, stripped of any and all ego.
For Raf Rundell, time in the studio continually produces work that surprises and amazes him. He is compelled to continue working to see what monster appears next. The DJ, and founder of dance-pop outfit The 2 Bears (featuring Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard), is too busy trying to understand the strange forces pushing him onwards to notice where he is going. He does not consciously set out to create giants.
And yet, that’s exactly what we can expect with the release of O.M. Days – a joyful beast, far larger and more confident than its creator could ever have imagined. Featuring a string of collaborators including Chaz Jankel from the Blockheads, Fat White Family’s Lias Saoudi, Richmond, Virginia-based musician Andy Jenkins and the inspired social and political commentators Man & The Echo, O.M. Days will be released into the world on 9th April via Heavenly Recordings.
In anticipation of the arrival of O.M. Days, Rundell teamed up with R&B/soul singer-songwriter Terri Walker for ‘Always Fly’, the video for which takes inspiration from the promo clip made for George Michael & Aretha Franklin’s 1987 hit ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)’. Of the track, Rundell summed up, “Here, my dears, is a piece of grown and sexy R’n’B for the ’20s. Lady Terri Walker, a true treasure of London’s music scene is ALWAYS FLY.” We couldn’t agree more, Raf.
From this soulful soaring immortal classic to the good-time dance anthem ‘Monsterpiece’ or the open-eyed moment-capturing acoustic hymn ‘The Ides of Albion’, O.M. Days is a rich, hugely confident, and highly accessible album. It is a record that manages to be both joyful and wise – a rare combination indeed, and exactly what we need right now. Another favourite of ours from the album is ‘More U Know’, a slow-burning dance-centric psychedelic slice of optimism.
By the way, we know you’re probably curious about that giant critter featured in the album’s artwork – we were too. Well, meet Dawson. Dawson is a folkloric character, both male and female, human and vegetation, and a new world grows in its womb. This imaginative beast has been linked to the eponymously-named South London parkland, Dawson’s Hill – a stone’s throw away from Dawson’s Heights, the flats featured on the cover of Raf’s debut Stop Lying.
Both of Rundell’s Dawson-referenced album covers were painted by London artist and fellow traveller Ben Edge. On 20th March 2021, marking the Spring equinox, this collaborative duo set off on the first of their O.M. Walks – an attempt to reconnect with the ancient by walking the streets of London mapping out the shape of Dawson’s head, creating their own folklore with the rite and re-emphasising the value of the world beneath our feet. Delve into their explorations by reading more on O.M. Walks HERE.
With the arrival of O.M. Days, Raf Rundell has amazed himself yet again. Emerging from the studio shocked at the effervescent beast he has created, he thinks, “How did that come from me?” We may never know how or why, but we can be eternally grateful that Raf Rundell creates giants.
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⇥ IMPALA Outstanding Contribution Award