Hard Rains | soundcloud.com/hard-rains
Half a minute into raw strumming, a low female voice croons, you are soaking in the aftermath / of a couple months too slow / you are reeking in the smell / of a nicotine halo. You are listening to the latest track from Abel and Zuni, the musical duo known as Hard Rains. Amongst the guitar-toting variety of young musicians who have emerged on the local scene recently, Hard Rains stands out for their unique style and their inclination towards writing original songs, making music which is - literally - poetry to our ears. "We were poets way before musicians so lyricism is no stranger to us." Abel explains.

Abel and Zuni met at a bar while with a few friends - the last people to leave at the end of the night, sitting at each ends of the tables. The way Abel puts it, their musical cooperation began when he was dragged into the studio by Zuni. They went from playing covers to singing and recording one of Zuni's poems, and thus Hard Rains was born.

Although, they weren't always called Hard Rains - after going through a plethora of names, Abel and Zuni settled on part of a Bob Dylan song title. This song, in particular, as it was written because Dylan was scared of dying early and had so many songs to write, he put all the best first lines into a single song - A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall. "We are folk rock musicians following in the footsteps of giants like Bob." Abel and Zuni continue. "We try to be awesome at what we do and we try to create new music for our generation."

We are folk rock musicians following in the footsteps of giants like Bob. We try to be awesome at what we do and we try to create new music for our generation.

Other than Bob Dylan, the duo claims Ani Difranco and Alanis Morissette amongst their biggest inspirations. They reveal, however, that their inspirations only give them a certain direction to take their tunes in, and that "most of the music is all us". Zuni comes up with the lyrics and the two run with a recording acapella to make it work - or they come up with a melody, then write the lyrics to create a song. "The process changes every time we write a new song," they admit, both claiming to be unstructured people.

Indeed, every song of Hard Rains' seems to be an experiment - from Sting, written on a hot day in 10 minutes, to I'm Going, which reads like a poem in staccato. Abel and Zuni have their own unique style which brought them through a competition and several performances at NUS. Their next public performance will be at the Lit Up Singapore arts festival on 29th July, where they will also be releasing their very first demo.
Written by Lim Si Hui