RAOTIJ press photo

Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus

Goodness knows we need something beautiful and hopeful in these strange, uncertain times. Who better to shine a celestial light in the darkness than mysterious Liverpool ensemble Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus (or RAIJ for short). The single released ahead of their upcoming album “Songs of Yearning” is an intriguing 2 minute slice of enigmatic pop perfection called “I Carry The Sun”.

“I Carry The Sun” somehow evokes the magic spirit of Young Marble Giants and New Order using celeste, organ, acoustic guitar and a muted guitar part. Over the song’s simple but mesmerising cyclical structure and sparse instrumentation Jessie Main’s nonchalant vocal captures something utterly intangible and emotionally powerful.

RAIJ’s debut album “Gift of Tears” was released in 1987 and re-issued a few years ago. This extract from the sleeve notes by Jason Morehead from the re-issue explains the band and their music (as much as anything can): “Taking their name from Luis Bunuels’s ‘That Obscure Object of Desire’ the Army formed in Liverpool in 1985 to integrate film, imagery,and performance elements to create environments and experiences that confounded expectations and interrupted the mere consumption of music… It challenges and overwhelms as much as inspires; it can be uplifting but also ominous and foreboding…”

“Songs of Yearning” will be only their 4th album in 33 years. RAIJ may not be best known for sublime pop singles, however it is not the first such perfect song to grace an album – try “Après le temps” from their previous (2015) album “beauty will save the world”.