Get to know the Alt-pop duo, RAINNE! They are known for their “darker, brooding, moody, and aggressive music” that leaves listeners in a world of mystery. Their latest single, “Hollow” is a refreshing contrast to their catalog. With its delicate, reverb vocals, gossamer piano lines, and echoing drums, RAINNE creates an immaculate musical setting for a song that emphasizes the hollowness one feels when separated from their lover. Just in time for autumn, a season that demands introspection and internal growth, “Hollow” is now available on digital music platforms worldwide.
“Hollow” has numerous dynamics and lives in a space between genres, allowing it to shape-shift to listeners with diverse musical pallets. “With ‘Hollow,’ we wanted to craft a beautiful harmonic experience that adds a new dimension to our repertoire,” explains lead singer, Annie Dingwall. Lush vocal harmonies, eerie saxophone textures, and a passionate guitar solo only enhance the song’s alluring lyrics about a love lost. “Hollow,” written by Dingwall, also has a reputable list of outside contributions, including production from Matias Mora (Cyn, Alice Gray), additional production from Justin Klunk and PLAYDED (Patrick Ridgen), mixing from Keith Armstrong at Pietown Sound, and mastering by Justin Shturtz at Sterling Sound.
After meeting at a GRAMMY camp in Los Angeles, RAINNE, (singer/songwriter Annie Dingwall and saxophonist/engineer Justin Klunk), became fast friends with a musical chemistry that artists search lifetimes to find. They are known for their live shows where Klunk takes on the role as musical director and Dingwall takes on the role of top-line songwriting and visual aesthetic. Coming off of a short tour following the release of their singles, “Psycho Killer” and “Dirty Little Dream,” RAINNE is riding a train that is moving full steam ahead.
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Learn more about RAINNE in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So what does a typical day look like for this band? What is on tap for the rest of your day and week?
Annie Dingwall: That’s a harder question to answer than you’d think! Being working musicians, there isn’t really a set pattern to our days and weeks – it all depends on the projects and shows that are coming up. There are things we get to (almost) every day, like working out and practicing, but some weeks are full of writing sessions and others are full of rehearsals for shows. Right now, we are in the middle of prepping for the release of our new single and rehearsing for our show at the Hollywood Bowl!
Now that we are more than halfway through the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating this duo so far? What are some goals that you have for this year and how close are you to reaching them?
AD: Overall, 2019 has been a pretty awesome year. We were able to go on tour as a band for the first time, release several songs that we are really proud of, and now we are playing the Hollywood Bowl! We’ve loved meeting all the new people who have discovered our music through shows or recordings and feel like our fanbase is really growing. As far as goals for the rest of the year, we are looking to continue releasing new music (and hopefully videos!) and go on another tour.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this band together? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far? How did you come up with your name?
Justin Klunk: Annie and I have actually been playing together for years, but only officially became a band a couple years ago. I actually remember the day quite clearly, I was in the middle of a winter tour run with Saint Motel on the Panic! At The Disco tour and she called me up and asked “do you want to be a band?” and I said yes.
AD: It really was as easy as that! We love playing together and had no idea how to run a band at the time (still learning!) but decided to give it everything we’ve got.
JK: I think the most surprising thing about this journey is that you really have no idea when/if anything will happen. When we first heard about the chance to open the Hollywood Bowl we never thought we’d get it and now here we are! Our biggest take away is to just keep working hard so that when opportunities arise, we’re prepared.
AD: The other surprising thing is how hard it is to pick a band name! It took us a while to decide on RAINNE – we even used a free internet band name generator to spark ideas – but when we settled on it we felt it was a good fit. We love metaphors and this one we felt really captured the dynamics and moods that our music explores.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you both carry yourselves in this band?
AD: Our surroundings growing up have definitely influenced our music and tastes. Being from Texas, I grew up listening to more rock than R&B and that definitely comes through in our live show.
JK: I’m from the South Bay (Los Angeles) and growing up my house was filled with a lot of different types of music. As an instrumentalist, I find myself listening more to arrangements and melodies, while Annie pays more attention to lyrics and overall feel. Our different backgrounds help us bring new views and ideas to the table and keep our music more interesting.
Why would you say that you two work so well together? Where is one of you weak where the other is strong and vice-versa? Why does this duo work?
JK: We’ve been best friends for a long time, and have had a lot of shared learning experiences over the years that have only strengthened our friendship and working relationship. We have massive respect for each other’s abilities and work ethic and I think that has given us a strong foundation to build our band on.
AD: Justin and I definitely have different strengths and weaknesses, and over the years we’ve found ways to fill in the gaps where each other falls short and build on the things that we do well. When we both fall short, we seek help in those areas from people who are stronger and better at those things. We try to go as far as we can on our own, but are also working building a team around us that strengthens us in areas where we need help.
Let’s talk about your latest track “Hollow.” What was the inspiration for this song? How did it come together? How would you say that it prepares listeners for more music from this duo?
AD: I had had the title “Hollow” in my phone for a while before actually sitting down to write the song. I wanted to create a song that really captured the sadness and isolation that heartbreak can cause – which is how we ended up with the open, super reverbed-out choruses that let the vocal just drift around in – like an empty cave or floating in the open sea. “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap was a production that I’ve always been really inspired by, and thought that all the chromatic motion in the verses would create amazing harmonies. This song was definitely a labor of love, and we gave every production idea a chance just to see if it would work, and while many didn’t end up in the production, it’s how we were able to blend so many genres and ideas together.
JK: “Hollow” was definitely a departure from the previous singles we released and explores a more poetic and sad side of our music. I think it shows our listeners a wider range of what we are capable of creating and hopefully excites them to continue on this journey with us.
When do you hope to release more music and a full collection of new songs?
JK: Recording a full-length album is definitely something we will be doing in the future. But for now, we don’t know when that will be. We’re constantly exploring where our sound and songs will take us and releasing singles seems to be the best way to give us that freedom. We do a ton of acoustic performances and our live renditions of our songs are usually pretty different, so we do have plans to release a live EP sometime in the near future.
How do you think your sound has grown over the years? What about your songwriting process? How has that changed?
JK: We have done a lot of exploring to hone in on the sound that we have today. When we used to play shows, the songs would vary from genre to genre – from country to jazzy – making it difficult for us (and the listeners) to figure out what our “sound” actually was. We would get feedback saying that we were too all over the map. And now, while we still have many genres that influence us, we have learned to take those ideas and hone them into a style that we feel represents our music as one cohesive sound.
AD: Songwriting always improves with time and the things you write songs about at 15 are different than the things you write about at 25. Overall, I’d say the process of writing is still the same – by sitting down with an instrument and an idea and letting it flow – but over the years I’ve learned to ditch a bad idea quicker and massage a lyric further until it is just right. It’s like anything, with practice you get better, faster, stronger. Over the years, we’ve gotten a lot better at identifying which songs fit the band and which ones need a different home.
Where do you think you are both happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
AD & JK: Definitely performing.
AD: We love being in the studio, but on stage is where you really get to see the human interaction with songs come alive. It’s such a magical feeling.
What has been a favorite show of yours to date? What do you think makes an ideal performance for this band? Where are you excited to play at next?
AD: One of our favorite performances to date has been a Sofar Sounds show we played while on tour in Chicago. We played on the top floor observation deck of the Hancock Building and the views and the audience were absolutely incredible. There was a magic up there that everyone in the room could feel. And honestly, anytime we can connect that deeply with other people through music is an ideal performance for us.
JK: We are definitely looking forward to our upcoming show at the Hollywood Bowl!! It is truly a dream come true for us and we are so honored and grateful for the opportunity to play the Bowl.
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
JK: Getting to create music with my best friend is about the best job I could ever have. Being able to work on our own music is a blessing and a privilege.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that?
AD: The political and social climate in the world has always affected music. Music can be one of the most honest forms of expression and is often used to express feelings that are difficult to express in any other medium. While our songs are not particularly politically charged, there is a consciousness of what people are thinking and feeling that goes into our creating and writing. There are songs from many years ago that are sparking controversy today, and I think that has created a new way for musicians to think and be more deliberate about the songs we’re creating today – especially lyrically.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this duo?
JK: It would be a dream come true to get the chance to collaborate with Justin Timberlake. He is someone both Annie and I have looked up to for a long time and we would be stoked to work with him. As far as favorite current artists, we love what a ton of people are doing right now – especially Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, and a ton of our talented friends.
Where would you love to hear your music being played? A TV show, a movie, in your favorite store, etc…?
AD: We would love to hear our music on the radio. That’s always been a big dream for us to have it playing on the radio when we hop in the car.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
JK: Our music is all about freedom of expression and embracing all the different emotions that someone can experience.
AD: We just want people to relate to the songs and feel the honesty that went into creating them. The songs are not about us, but about how a listener can make them his or her own.