Single Review: Raelle, ‘Wait for You’

Listen to ‘Wait for You’ on all streaming platforms.

Image courtesy of Raelle

London-based singer Raelle released her second single, “Wait for You” on 14 August. She wrote it entirely during lockdown, collaborating remotely with Carter Sanders and Emmanuale Obale. The track also features the words and voice of André Jahnoi. 

The song suits a summer of long days and longing for each other. “Wait for You” opens with her velvety, tightly-controlled vocals over spare, loose chords, and time kept by clapping. Raelle mainly sings jazz and neo-soul, which is heard on the verses. In “Wait for You,” however, she consciously stretched beyond her comfort zone, and she flourishes as her rich voice crests and bursts into the upbeat, catchy chorus, which she said was inspired by the swells of gospel harmonies: “You know I stay awake for you all night, baby.” It’s the kind of song people with fewer vocal talents happily yell along to.

‘Wait for You’ is about the anticipation of waiting for a lover, so rather than adhere to a traditional structure, it resolves with the absent object of affection appearing at last. André Jahnoi closes “Wait for You” in a tender rap, his voice like a warm breeze: “You’re poetry/Every curve is in cursive/each word is a feeling and every dream is in bold caps.”

Raelle said she “wanted to embody the feeling of a jam night with the production.” Andre Fisher’s mixing and mastering of the track keeps her full voice in focus, weaving Jahnoi’s smokier sound in with her backing harmonies. Raelle can easily dominate power ballads, but “Wait for You”’s synthy instrumentals stay restrained when she soars, keeping the fun, romantic late-summer vibe of the song.