Stephen Rainey - Collaboration Experimentation EP Review

Stephen Rainey is a singer songwriter from Antrim. Having been the frontman for local rock band The Hangfires, Stephen has decided to finally put out his own more mellow tracks. Armed only with a second hand Mac and a cheap mic, Stephen has forgone the usual route of a musician and has recorded all of the songs himself at home with admittedly varied results. He recently released his Collaboration Experimentation EP which is five songs each featuring a different artist or artists. Three of the songs feature vocalist Ellen Louise whilst other songs feature Richard Murray, Daryl Ball and John McCullough. 

The EP begins with These Tears which is the only song on the EP actually recorded in a studio. The track is a solid pop song with a nice melody and flow. The gentle piano adds a nice touch.

These Tears:

Tonight is the first of three duets with Ellen Louise and also features Richard Murray on guitar. The vocal harmonies between Stephen and Ellen are very enjoyable as they clearly have an understanding of each other and compliment each other very well.


No Parachutes again features Ellen Louise on vocals and also John McCullough on piano. The song is a beautiful love song and once again the two vocals work brilliantly together. The piano playing is the star of the show here though as it's simply sublime.

No Parachutes:

Fire Burning is the final duet with Ellen Louise and takes a different direction to the rest of the EP. This one is more upbeat and dancey thanks to the use of loops. It breaks up the slow love songs nicely and shows another side to Stephen's creativity.

Fire Burning: 

The EP closes with Knew Ya with Daryl Ball on guitar. This one is fairly subdued with a touch of Bryan Adams about it and rounds out the five track EP nicely.

Knew Ya:

Considering the lack of tools at hand, Stephen has created a very respectable EP with some gems on there. The addition of Ellen Louise on some songs has definitely paid dividends as she brings another dimension to the table. About the EP, Stephen said "As these are home recorded and I have neither the equipment or know how that a studio would provide these songs are by no means perfect but I can live with the imperfections as they are reminders of the journey these songs have taken me. It’s been a steep learning curve,I made plenty of mistakes along the way, scrapped plenty and started again lol but more than that it’s been enjoyable,I’ve tried different sounds at times and made some friends along the way".

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