If you do a Google search of Allan Rayman, you might be surprised at what you find. Or more precisely, what you don’t find. Okay, it’s not like the Internet is completely scrubbed clean of his existence. After all, he is an artist who’s released four acclaimed albums and an EP, amassed over 150 million streams on Spotify, and received a Juno Award nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. But if you sift through the search results—music videos, various reviews, an odd interview or two—it might seem weird to you that we know pretty much nothing about Rayman’s personal life. It’s a concerted effort on the artist’s part, as he has admitted. Luckily, there are two Allan Raymans: Allan Rayman the guy and Allan Rayman the singer.
The Toronto-based singer has created a persona for himself, a more bold and daring version of his typically introverted identity. His close attention to character has taken the narrative of his body of work to a higher level of intimacy and clarity, a theme that is clear in his single “Stitch” from his 2020 album Christian.
“Stitch” is an up-tempo song that muses over the delightful messes that are relationships through the metaphor of fast fashion and consumerism. Produced by GRAMMY winner Alex da Kid, the song cultivates a uniquely indie rock sound highlighted by a riff-heavy bassline.
“Before you hand me down, try me on / Trim the sleeves if they hang too long,” Rayman pleads in the song’s opening. Rayman’s voice is somehow both rough and smooth at the same time, tempered by an aching that reveals both painful personal experiences and self-assured conviction. At first glance, it might seem like he’s grasping futilely at a sinking relationship, but as the music unfolds the lyrical tone shifts closer to an attitude of insightful resolution gained from his experiences.
At its heart, “Stitch” is a song about personal growth. “Inside out, you see the stitch / Inside out, don’t wear the inside wrong / You see the stitch,” Rayman sings, offering us a reminder that just like that bold fashion choice we’re always too scared to make (up to you to decide for yourself what exactly that is), sometimes we need to make the wrong choices in love in order to grow. “It was heaven, doll, but like a doll, I outgrew you,” he affirms. Things change, life changes, people change, but there’s a valuable lesson to be learned as these changes knock us down again and again.
“Stitch” never loses its upbeat strength or its raspy melodic instrumentation and vocals. Rayman closes the song with another iteration of the chorus, it’s fourth appearance in a short song. Again, Rayman’s narrative is clear in this structure. No matter how many times we fall, what matters is that we keep going, exploring the world and all it has to offer. Wear that plaid fedora, go talk to that intriguing person; even if it’s the wrong decision, you’ll grow from it.