‘Health’, by Frankfurt-based artist and musician Man Rei, aka Kristin Reiman, opens wistfully amongst lush, echoing drones, their vocal intimations stretched out in boundless, iridescent cycles. It’s amongst these reverb-drenched murmurs of 90s shoegaze that a vast space makes way for their confessional ruminations on the disarray of life and its messiness. Man Rei’s work is woven with intricate narrative, take ‘Cusp’ (2020), where expressions of fatigue and lethargy meld into an absorbing idle dream state. In ‘Health’, they confront the impermanence of their existence, their words ‘I am not endless’ cutting straight to the core in a potent shot of bittersweet sorrow. The sheer weightlessness of the A side elicits a blissful reverie, disguising the underlying narrative of discontent and uncertainty. As meandering piano rings out in ‘Just another let it die’, Side B veils into shadow; a paranoid self-reflection with unnerving synths brooding in suspense. At the height of this tension, the deep, rumbling bassline of ‘Endless-no’ summons a fever dream of devastating heartbreak. Man Rei’s unique ability to modulate tension conjures immersive shifts, and the whispered solace of ‘Still, by’ provides respite from the heartache. The same duality resonates in their diaristic verse, replete with both dry wit and sensitive observations on the melancholic human experience. Within these songs is a voice that illuminates the overlooked, a pervasive synthesis of idiosyncrasy and beauty, all imbued with the irresistible and tender spirit of Man Rei. As the closing words of ‘Without fear’ reverberate, there’s a feeling akin to acceptance, Reiman’s perception of loneliness intertwined with hope.