With a soft, bluesy howl and brooding guitars, SHAYNA RAIN creates dreamy ballads about love lost and love found. Equally influenced by both classic rock radio swagger and heart-on-your-sleeve emo (Brand New, Say Anything), the MODELS’ buoyant energy keep the sultry and sullen SHAYNA RAIN from sinking too deep into her pensive melancholy. Ultimately, it is all about her voice: rare, delicate, and inspiring a painful nostalgia for a love you never knew.
The ten songs on Aiming for the Sun feature Shayna Rain, a woman who is obviously influenced by Janis Joplin who refrains from sounding exactly like her. It helps that her music, while bluesy, also can venture into folk territory. None of the songs are rockers, but they’re steady and competent. When Rain and her band go really mellow, such as on “You’ll Never Leave” and the reprise of that same song, is when they truly shine. It sounds like a woman was doing vocals for an emo pop band when they decided to do the one acoustic song on their album. That’s not meant to be a critique; it is actually a welcome change. The reprise of “You’ll Never Leave” is the album’s finale and the best track. It’s got power and emotion and a nice build. It actually made me feel feelings, which is pretty rare for a random album I review for Razorcake.Good job, Shayna, this emotional robot is not dried up yet!
–Kurt Morris (Razorcake issue #88)
If I had to describe Shayna Rain in the form of emoji, it’d just be a series of a couple dozen heart-eyes. Seriously, listen to her smoky vocals and try not to fall in love. But while Shayna gets top billing, the band carries just as much weight, adding swagger to her ballads and exploring a range of emotions. “I Think I Know I Feel” winds into a bluesy jam session. “Number 81? sways into indie territory. And the cavalry comes in with a flourish of horns on “How Autumn Goes.” The highlights, for me, remain the dreamy “You’ll Never Leave” and the brilliant reprise.