Until the record’s release, Rhye shunned as much media and publicity as possible. As Hannibal and Milosh expressed on NPR, “We made a conscious decision to stay out of things. We just don’t want to be in the imagery of our music, because we don’t want to interfere with the individual experience of our songs.” What remains, then, makes up one of the best albums of the year so far—because while Rhye has decided not include themselves on Woman, they include just about everything else.
Rhye crafts elegant and endearing music; its presence entirely surrounds its listeners. The album is a mix of smooth jazz, ephemeral dream-pop, and sleek production. Rhye has invited many apt comparisons to minimalist indie pop bands like the xx, Beach House, and Chromatics, but Woman isn’t nearly so held back or restrained as its predecessors. “The Fall,” Rhye’s debut single from October 2012, expresses Woman’s sound more exquisitely than any track on the album, but Woman experiments in all the right ways. “3 Days” quite casually flirts with disco, and is accompanied by a mixture of low-tone synth lines and a symphonic mix of violins, flutes, and clarinets. “One of Those Summer Days,” by contrast, is a slow and dreamy track that lingers through a labyrinth of reverbs, mournful guitars, and hushed voices.
Despite this variety, nothing on Woman feels missing or out of place. After finally parsing through the incredibly satisfying layering of sound and emotion in Woman’s ten tracks, it’s quite clear: everything that Rhye includes in Woman simply belongs there. Rhye never ‘interferes with the individual experience’ of the music on Woman: they make that experience a complete one.