Ali Rice – Night Call

Today at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we are listening to the latest single from Bristol (UK) artist, Ali Rice. Night Call is a love song about trying to rekindle a romantic spark, and dealing with all the lust and frustration it can cause.

Night Call starts with some gorgeous stereo acoustic guitars. This sets a calming scene that washes over you. When Ali’s vocals come in they’re dreamy and edgeless and very warm and inviting. They reminded us in places of one or two of our favourite Supertramp songs.

As the song progresses, the subtlest of keys incidental notes are added in, with some lovely delays. The rise and fall of the acoustic soundscape in this track keep your interest maintained easily and once the full band sound with drumkit is added in, the song somehow manages to keep building.

We love the incidental electric guitar riffs, panned to the left. They’re superb at helping the listening experience become completely immersive and the euphoric build into the guitar solo is absolutely to die for! The guitar solo fades in with what we think is some clever tremolo picking and copies a small patch of the vocal melody before doing its own thing. Sounding just a touch like the great British band, It Bites, here.

Throughout the track, Ali’s vocals impressed us. He has some superb tricks in his vocal toolbox, and his falsetto notes are effortless.

Starting as what you expect to be a simple and gentle folk song, Night Call just keeps developing until, by the end, you want to hit play again, just to be reminded how far you’ve come. This song, despite being only 3 and a half minutes long is a real journey of exploration. Towards the end, it feels like a rock song. The development of the instrumentation feels as though it perhaps mirrors the development of what began as a romantic spark in the lyrics.

From a production perspective, we feel that a wide boost centred around 2kHz would raise the definition in the track and give it a little more ‘edge’ – particularly in the softer vocal parts. Another boost across the high mids and highs centred around 9kHz would add to the brightness and presence. Also, when the drums enter the track, we felt the snare is a little dominant at around 190Hz so a careful surgical cut here would help it to fit a little better.

An exciting and euphoric genre-bending song whose build from folk to rock reminded us of Fleetwood Mac’s, The Chain. A wonderfully presented song with some heartfelt lyrics and passionate performances. We’re looking forward to hearing more from this Bristol-based singer-songwriter.