The Shimmering Otherness of RAIJ
RAIJ (Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus), the eclectic and multitalented group of musicians based in the UK, recently released their latest album Songs of Yearning (plus a limited edition accompanying album, Nocturnes).
Prayer, the last track on Songs of Yearning, has a particular significance for me. It is RAIJ’s lovely arrangement of the simple prayer which I sang driving home from the cemetery one day after visiting Sophia’s tomb. It is—for me and for those who love Sophia—one of the ripples in time of her beautiful young life.
But it is also a song for all those who deeply love another in this mortal world of ours. It grew from sorrow, but it is love that lies at the heart of it, and love that flows from it. It speaks therefore for all of us.
RAIJ have been called the UK’s most elusive and mysterious band. Their music is creatively exploratory, rich in sense impression and resonant with spiritual meaning. “Otherworldly” perhaps best describes their music. “Enchanting” works too.
In The Realm of Angels, I wrote of a “shimmering otherness” between worlds, which lies at the edge of awareness, and which appears to us in moments that though rare are of such beauty and clarity they are seared into the soul.
RAIJ’s music has the extraordinary ability to take its listeners to precisely that place. For all the seekers out there, this is the shore you need to find yourself upon.
Do listen. Buy the album.
Like their previous albums (such as the compelling Beauty Will Save The World), it will not only become a collector’s piece, but you will find yourself drawn back to it time and time again.
Produced by Occultation Records, Songs of Yearning (and Nocturnes) is currently available for pre-order.
The coronavirus pandemic will slow down production of the hard copies, but the whole album is able to be heard online, and can be downloaded from the bandcamp.com website: https://revolutionaryarmyoftheinfantjesus.bandcamp.com/album/songs-of-yearning
In dark times, RAIJ’s music is more necessary than ever….