Music

The Rayo Brothers Explore Duality With "Victim and Villain" (premiere)

Photo: LeeAnn Stephan / Howlin' Wuelf Media

Americana's Rayo Brothers offer up a new single, "Victim and Villain", that spotlights the group's genetic harmonies and refined writing.

"Victim and Villain" is the latest video from Louisiana's the Rayo Brothers as well as the title tune from its third LP, produced by Louis Michot of the Grammy-winning Lost Bayou Ramblers and engineered by Tony Daigle (who also holds a Grammy), who mixed the set.

The tune focuses on the genetic harmonies of brothers Jesse and Daniel Reaux as well as a melodic structure that provides a gentle, lulling counterpart to the song's exploratory, self-examining lyrics. With gorgeous string arrangements and a performance almost too perfect to believe, the song demands repeated listens to fully absorb its grandeur.

"Sometimes you write a song and it just comes to you," Jesse Reaux offers. "You don't fully understand it until after it's finished. This was one of those songs. It's about how you are those things within yourself. It's not about other people in the world. It's about seeing those qualities in yourself, accepting that and then trying to become a better version of yourself."

Speaking about Michot's contributions to the song, Reaux continues, "He came up with the idea of the string parts on 'Victim and Villain.' He and Nikia Young, who played the parts, worked them out before we got into the studio. Probably every song on this album has some idea that was his on it."

The album differed in one other way for the brothers. Whereas Daniel had done much of the writing in the past, Jesse stepped up with an impressive body of material this time, even though Daniel handles the majority of the singing: "It was cool to work with Jesse in this way," he says. "It's like I'm interpreting his voice through singing the songs."

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