Whoever Allan Rayman is, he’s made a hell of a body of work so far. The Wyoming born, Toronto based artist has delivered one head-scratching, hypnotic and heavenly project after another, including Hotel Allan , Courtney EP , Roadhouse 01 , Harry Hard-On , and CHRISTIAN .
Along the way, he generated over 250 million streams, sold out tours in Europe, The United States and Canada, and shined at festivals, including Reading & Leads, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Ohana, Austin City Limits, and Osheaga. In the midst of this whirlwind, he gained a newfound clarity and applied it to finishing ROADHOUSE 02 during the Global Pandemic.
Every side of Rayman shines on ROADHOUSE 02. Thematically inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s classic Slaughterhouse-Five, Rayman sonically nods back to the nocturnal R&B of his early work. The 13-track album focuses on the musician’s career to date; being signed and dropped, to the feeling of not being “the right guy for the job” and the struggle of finding positivity in all this negative space. Touching on maturity and the revelations that come with it, Rayman becomes unstuck in time and is shown his life and what’s to come of it if he continues to let Mr. Roadhouse have full control. It ultimately leads to depression and unfortunately death. ROADHOUSE 02 is Rayman being shown his options and having to make the decision on where he wants his life to go.
Opening track “Dead Frogs” is about studying his favorite artists and seeing where they went wrong.
He confides, “Most of them died young and if they didn’t they’d become something else that I would like to avoid.” Then there is “Lately” which speaks to the duality in people and how there is more than one personality in all of us, “Mine gets the better of me often and I let that happen especially for performance sake.”
The brooding “Good Enough” is about chasing something that ultimately is bad for you and that the steps along the way are the real important moments – happiness. Narrating the closing of a chapter, “Bye Bye Blondie” says goodbye to an old version of the artist – Christian album Allan. “Rider” sees the musician being able to view life in its entirety from beginning to end, learning how he can avoid going down a different road, so death doesn’t come for him. It allows him to become unstuck in time and move around the moments of his life as if he were visiting a zoo. “Ghost” is about an old friend who passed away that Allan believes has contacted him in his dreams.
“I believe it is when we are asleep that ghosts can communicate with us so as to not scare us.”
Rayman shares, “Together the songs and video tell a story of an artist who creates an alter ego to handle success in the music industry and what happens when you lose yourself in that character. Ultimately the album is by an artist for an artist. It shines light on the negatives that come with this career choice. With an underlying theme that our shortcomings as artists are our strength; makes for good music – real music.” ROADHOUSE 02 marks a new chapter for Allan Rayman.