21st Century Music: The Rapture
21st Century Music are shorter playlists and write-ups that focus on artists that have released their music since 2000. These highlight new(er) acts that continue the sound and spirit of the older acts that are highlighted on Ceremony. Click on the streaming service of your choice below to listen to the playlist as you read along.
The Rapture were a band out of New York that managed to come and go before I knew they existed. How they escaped my notice I have no idea, but until I became enraptured (pun intended) with their song “Echoes” after hearing it as the theme song for the British show Misfits (also discovered after its run thanks to Netflix), I made sure to go back and give their brief catalogue a good listen. Formed in 1998 the band released four albums and a couple EPs before disbanding in 2014.
After releasing a noisy and forgettable mini album in 1999, they started to get their groove on, literally, in 2001 with the EP, Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks, that was co-produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and released on Sub Pop. You can hear the similarities in The Rapture to Murphy’s electronic band. Repetition, groovy basslines, jangling guitars and Luke Jenner’s desperate, screeching, high pitched vocals. However most of the EP is a tough listen and the band was as likely to alienate listeners as win them over. It would be their second album, Echoes, that showed the true promise of the band. The songs are more diverse, ambitious, and infectious. “House of Jealous Lovers” is a fantastic blend of punk and dance and “Echoes” has established itself as one of my favourite songs of the past twenty years. It’s just a fun, crazy and energetic punk rock romp (with full-on cowbell). I can’t listen to it unless it’s cranked, and you should too.
There would be two more albums in which electronics worked in and the dance side of their sound became more prevalent. The result were increasingly listenable and engaging albums, built on the solid foundation of Echoes to create pure rock-dance thrills like “Get Myself Into It” and “How Deep Is Your Love,” along with subtler and distinctive songs like “Down for So Long” (which sounds to me like a modern take on Talking Heads) and “Roller Coaster.”
It’s a shame we won’t be able to hear what would come next from The Rapture, and it’s also too bad we only got the three thrilling albums from them over a fifteen-year career. They never charted very highly but were an influential part of the brief resurgence of punk-influenced rock in the early 2000s in New York. Like others of the new millennium, they built on the sounds of the ‘80s to take the mix of dance and rock to new and exciting places.
- Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks \ Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks (2001)
- House of Jealous Lovers \ Echoes (2003)
- Echoes \ Echoes (2003)
- Get Myself Into It \ Pieces of the People We Love (2006)
- Down for So Long \ Pieces of the People We Love (2006)
- In the Grace of Your Love \ In the Grace of Your Love (2011)
- Roller Coaster \ In the Grace of Your Love (2011)
- How Deep Is Your Love \ In the Grace of Your Love (2011)