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  • Giavanna Gradaille

Review: "A Little Grief" - RAYVEN

Loss is inevitable – this is something we all consciously know and understand. But emotionally, it doesn’t register with us until we’ve experienced it. The loss of a loved one though, is an experience that cannot be paralleled. The process of bereavement is different for everyone in this circumstance. Some of us need space during this period to rebalance ourselves. Some of us see it as an opportunity to self-destruct and rebuild ourselves from the ashes. And finally, some of us create meaningful art. RAYVEN’s “A Little Grief” captures their experience with losing their mother while simultaneously relating to those who have withstood a similar loss.

"A Little Grief" is a heartfelt dedication to RAYVEN's mother that doubles as a sympathetic ode to loss and reminiscence. The piano-laden ballad centers around a bittersweet melody as a testament to the life RAYVEN’s mother lived. The opening verses of the single recall early memories before RAYVEN expresses the difficulty with moving on in life without the presence of their mother. Even communicating their fear of not being able “to do this alone”. This builds towards the chorus that summons a change in the song’s atmosphere. The chorus submerges listeners into a chasm of heartache that transforms into an inspiring memorial. The lyrics that perfectly embody this sentiment are: “Cause I can’t imagine a world that’s without you / But I know that grief is just love persevering / So, I’ll take it all / And make your life the centerpiece / ‘Round tables of loved ones / That carry on your memory”. The reverbed and delayed background vocals emphasize this chasm effect the chorus has, giving the song a high-quality cinematic feel to it. The second verse of the song provides more insight into the relationship between RAYVEN and her mother. This is where listeners learn that RAYVEN was not only adopted by her mother, but the adoption took place on her mother’s birthday. Which makes the lyrics “you’ve been the gift ever since” all the more sentimental. Finally, the bridge offers listeners a wonderful reminder: the desire for the presence of someone that’s no longer with us will always linger, but their spirit is kept alive through mementos and the people who hold memories of them. “A Little Grief” is a deeply intimate piece of art that stands as the epitome of emotional vulnerability within music. And I hope its creation has brought RAYVEN the same comfort it extends to listeners also enduring a significant loss.

Wisconsin native, RAYVEN, is a woman of many talents within the arts. When they’re not writing and singing heavyhearted ballads, they’re producing, acting, or writing plays. The multi-talented artist’s debut single was the alternative “Questions, Comments, Concerns” that featured inventive gospel-laced synths centering on the skepticisms of religion. While their most recent single, “Fly As Me”, takes on a funkier sound with a mixture of heavier and laidback rock elements. RAYVEN’s discography showcases how versatile their music is while conveying a genuineness that can’t be replicated. If you’ve enjoyed RAYVEN’s ability to evoke emotion as much as I have, show them some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.

Written by Giavanna Gradaille



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