I get this question so often! Time to give the long answer.
Usually I classify the chewing noises (or so some call them) as vocals of the spoken-word variety. Rain has motifs of the human voice throughout, from the sliced-whisper rhythms to the layering of recorded vocal work.
Thematically, the track is meant to describe the duality of Rose’s personality, especially as it relates to her interest in the horrorterrors and forbidden knowledge. I wanted the music to reflect aspects both beautiful and profane, magnificent and repulsive. The chords that the song shifts back and forth on are comforting, a repeating plagal cadence that hints at religious undertones. Contrasting this are elements of the song such as the whispers and the vocals, which are meant to unsettle and confuse the listener. These two harmonizing artistic subjects of darkness and light are compared in one sweeping metaphor to rainfall. Storm clouds are dark, but they pour life and waters that cleanse.
To describe it in a word: sublime.
But yeah poetic garbage aside I recorded those vocals right up close to a microphone in order to really make the listener uncomfortable. It was so close that you can hear saliva between my lips. I totally breach your personal space whenever you listen to it, and that is precisely what I was going for! I wanted to repulse and unnerve, as if I was whispering just a little too close right into your ear.
It’s certainly not chewing though. The words are whispered faintly, but they are indeed words. Very specific ones. It’s not English. Perhaps I am trying to tell you something, or plead something to you. The words are desperate, the tragedy is that they are largely unintelligible.
At any rate now you all know how hardcore I over-thought every little detail about Medium.
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