RINI’s ‘Constellations’ is an album dedicated wholeheartedly to falling in love
Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Melbourne’s R&B sensation RINI has delivered one of the finest projects to come out of Australia this year with his sophomore album ‘Constellations’. The project follows on from his timeless EP ‘After the Sun’ and is filled with the alluring essence that has kept RINI’s music both refreshing and familiar ever since his beginnings with his 2017 debut album ‘Rini’. ‘Constellations’ traverses the feelings surrounding the experience of falling in love. In comparison with previous projects which explore heartbreak, all of the intoxicating magnetism of love takes centre stage on this album.
The album features contributions from fellow Melbournians and long-time collaborators Olivia Escuyos and Aldwin Cajili, who each shine their own light on this gorgeous album. RINI has continued to demonstrate his impressive calibre as a new wave R&B artist over the past few years, with his travels taking him to places infamous for their romantic iconography such as Paris for video clips befitting the expressions in his music. RINI will be joining American R&B singer Alina Biraz on tour later this year to cap off what has been an outstanding 2021 for the pioneering young artist.
‘Red Lights’ ft Wale
What an impressive start to the ‘Constellations’ album experience. ‘Red Lights’ is as engaging an intro as one could want for this album, whilst easing the audience into what is about to be a sensual listening experience. The track sees RINI reiterating the notion that the only thing slowing him down from being close this significant other is the eponymous ‘Red Lights’. During this car journey, RINI is fantasising about everything he wants to be doing with her: “Dreaming of us dancing on the moon”. Throughout the song we are accompanied by a soothing guitar instrumental and the sound of the crackling of a record which supplements the mood. And the addition of Wale’s verse is the icing on the cake that sees the D.C. rapper delivering an energetic verse whilst remaining consistent with his flow and contrasting the slower vocals from RINI.
‘Over Some Wine’ ft Maeta
When this song first dropped it didn’t include the Maeta feature, it was later added by RINI and his team and we are so glad that it was. This song perfectly illustrates the early stages of love; spending time together, drinking wine and enjoying each other’s company. It is clever having both vocalists sing their verses from contrasting views of this moment and reuniting to sing the chorus together, reaffirming their intentions and feelings toward one another. This experience is almost instinctive; it is what they’re craving; deep conversation, transparency and an intimate understanding of one another. A combination of vocal stretching, harmonies, clever verse construction and pitch changes make this a thoroughly enjoyable track. And let’s not forget those sneaky adlibs from RINI.
‘Out of the Blue’
This track holds a lot of weight and many listeners will relate to these feelings and affirmations that RINI sings about. Love can be unexpected and, as the title suggests, ‘Out of the Blue’ at times. The Melbourne native takes the time to explain his feelings and the revelations that have taken place, its beautiful and outlines just how mysterious love can be. A chill production occupies the entire track, with gorgeous instrumentals, a bass guitar, echoey fleeting backing vocals and a soothing violin instrumental in the outro all adding up to assure a well-rounded track.
This track has a sultry opening that immediately hooks you in through the electric guitar instrumentals and peaceful harmonies. ‘Butterflies’ embodies RINI’s impressive capacity to bridge classic R&B and contemporary R&B through the balancing act on display. The song name is strategic and allows him to use many butterfly-related analogies to explain the feelings associated with love. He explains the feelings of butterflies in your stomach that humans tend to get when they are around someone they are infatuated with. He also likens being around his significant other to the process of transitioning from the cocoon into a butterfly that can flap its wings and achieve what It has in mind. This portrays the benefits of being connected to someone that helps you to realise your full potential and pushes you to be the best version of yourself.
The use of a Spanish guitar instrumental and a sound akin to tap dancing shoes immediately evokes an ideal place: “It don’t rain in California, not a single cloudy day”. In spite of RINI travelling the world and experiencing the physical embodiments of paradise that our planet has to offer, there is still something, or rather someone, missing as he states: “You left your scent here on my pillows”. Deep connections are hard to explain, they are fostered in unlikely circumstances and RINI does his best to highlight how close he has become to this person and how much chemistry they have built.
As a listener we are immediately drawn in by the retro-esque synths used in the production of the song. RINI explores the intimate and monogamous aspects of the relationship he is in through describing a sensual bedroom experience. RINI captures the essence of falling in love and wanting to give everything of yourself to someone in order to connect fully spiritually and physically. This can be described as the perfect R&B track made specifically for the bedroom. Using vivid imagery really allows RINI to capture the mood effectively.
RINI firmly illustrates his versatility as an artist through this song. His ability to heighten his pitch through the verse and contrast it with the lower pitch backing vocals is genius and special. The feel-good production reflects the mood of the song, using luscious and grandiose instrumentals that mark the occasion and how special this relationship is to RINI. The lovely guitar solo towards the end of the track is superb and I can imagine it would really be a crowd pleaser at any live gig RINI plays in future. This track is also strategically placed in the track list as an accompaniment to the previous two tracks which explore a period of infatuation, with RINI being upfront in his expressions of love towards this girl and in making his intentions are clear.
‘Talk to Me’
RINI delves into the importance of genuine connection on this track, using visual imagery to portray in his writing: “I would take your hands, look into your eyes tell you why, we should take this time, don't call it a night”. The dreamy vocals from the Melbourne R&B legend are accompanied by rhythmic drum snares and a vintage sounding guitar loop that compliments it exceptionally well. RINI is undeniably well-suited to creating music that accentuates intimate connections and this song fits very well into his discography. We witness a bouncy outro with RINI’s fluctuating vocals flourishing on the drums, with some rich piano keys playing in the distance.
We experience a dissimilar sound with this track, something that we haven’t really heard RINI do throughout his discography in the past. The summer-inspired and dance-influenced track makes for an upbeat and tropical listen, something that fits RINI’S vocals impeccably well. His ability to switch vocal pitches and stretch his vocals to match the harmonies in production is spectacular. The vibey drum loops and Spanish guitar plucks that are incorporated in the song’s production create a state of trance like no other whereby I truly believe I am on the beach sipping on Pina Colada’s. In addition, there are many production elements throughout the track that allow for the listener to experience unexpected turns like the slowed and reverbed vocals towards the end of the track. Phenomenal listen.
RINI slows it back down for the listener, treating us to a melancholic yet optimistic track that explores the importance of transparency and open conversations. This song is about the times when we need reassurance. There are many times in life where we see our insecurities come to the fore and we become disheartened by our significant other, in spite of them loving us unconditionally. RINI wears his heart on his sleeve on this track, and opens up to share his raw and authentic thoughts, illustrating just how much love he has for this person.
The production on this song captured my attention immediately. I adored the combination of the acoustic guitar and piano keys that are played in a dejected tempo in order to sustain the perfect ambience for RINI to lay down his vocals. Commitment and monogamy are considered the most fragile components in love. And RINI takes this opportunity to genuinely express his feelings but also to explain his hesitations, as he is scared of being left in the dark or hurt again. Many listeners are able to relate to this feeling and feel empathy towards the situation. I thought the whole track was constructed flawlessly, with RINI focusing on a catchy hook to keep the listener engaged but keeping the underlying melancholic tempo intact. I adored the acapella outro from RINI. Bravo.
‘A Starry Night in Apollo Bay’
I never thought the perfect song could exist, until I heard this song right here. The symbolism of the title immediately grabs your attention, with RINI depicting the mood of a starry night in Apollo Bay, a coastal town in Southwestern Victoria, Australia. For RINI, the stars in the night sky shine brighter than ever in Apollo Bay. The production enriches the listening experience, the sound of waves crashing onto the shore, the subtle crackling of a vinyl player, the comforting plucks of an acoustic guitar and the peaceful piano keys in the distance. The elite production from Caliji and RINI is absolutely mind-blowing. The creative drive behind this track is commendable, as they have mirrored the message of the song into the actual listening experience. RINI reminisces about a time that he holds dear to his heart, that one starry night in Apollo Bay, a time where he felt truly connected, a time when he had figured it all out. Looking at the stars in the night sky, connecting to the cosmos and truly capturing the title of the album ‘Constellations’. His eagerness to stay and harness every moment and hold it close is saddening but truly beautiful. This is how we feel as the listener in that we do not wish for this song to end. We are savoring every line and hoping to remain in this state of eternal comfort, hence the mirroring effect.
In comparison with previous RINI projects, this is less about heartbreak and more about falling in love. The moments of bliss that typify a deeply interconnected type of love are masterfully honed in on by RINI, with the time spent apart from this special someone acting as the catalyst for RINI to pursue rekindling what was once there for when they meet again. Whilst RINI’s success has seen him traverse the world far-and-wide, it is this connection that he hopes to rediscover again. And it is undeniably this yearning for reconnection that drives his consciousness every day.
This album isn’t merely a collection of songs put together to form a project. This is a well-thought out and exceptionally crafted listening experience from start to finish. RINI explores the complex nature of infatuation and falling in love with somebody. Through this album, we are taken on a visually-evocative and sonically engaging journey to explore love through intimacy, physical chemistry, complex connections, mutual feelings and a connectedness to one another on a cosmic level, hence the well-placed title ‘Constellations’. The creative geniuses behind this project including RINI, the production team, the featured artists and writers, have all created a seamless experience that explores the perpetual feeling of falling in love.
We want to give everyone that worked on the production of this album and those who assisted with writing a massive shoutout for their efforts, this album was so special because of everyone's involvement:
First and last photo by Matty (@mac.trece)
Words by Maroun Ghossain and Matthew Badrov