So, here’s the thing: only recently have I discovered that I am a RAYE stan, and have been for years.

A RAYEbot? A RAYEnbow? One of her RAYEs of light? Still workshopping. Will report back.

It snuck up on me quite suddenly: the 22-year-old British singer-songwriter has supplied vocals to some of my favorite, sassiest dance-pop offerings over the past few years. “You Don’t Know Me” from Jax Jones? RAYE. “Stay (Don’t Go Away)” from David Guetta? RAYE. “By Your Side” with Jonas Blue? RAYE. “Cigarette” with Mabel and Stefflon Don…and RAYE.

She’s not just the voice on the tracks, either: she’s pushed the pen behind everything from Charli XCX‘s Number 1 Angel banger “Dreamer” to Beyoncé‘s “Bigger” from her Lion King: The Gift soundtrack.

It’s no fluke, there’s one unifying force between all these tracks. And, you guessed it: it’s RAYE, bitch.

On Friday (December 13), RAYE dropped a brand new solo track called “Please Don’t Touch” – and, apart from the unintelligible new Grimes song, it’s the only thing I’ve been listening to ever since.

The song was co-written by RAYE, Little Mix longtime collaborator Kamille and Fraser T. Smith, of Adele‘s “Set Fire to the Rain,” but most importantly of Britney‘s “Scary” and “Trouble For Me” fame.

I’m feeling vulnerable/ What if I let go? / You make me want to, though…

The track’s subject matter is, true to the title, quite fragile. The message is straightforward: she’s been hurt before, so please don’t get too close – unless you want RAYE to start catching feelings.

The song’s space-y synth construction is a fittingly featherlight accompaniment to the earnest feelings laid flat across the track, and that pre-chorus is especially gorgeous and melancholy: “The thing about love, it ain’t simple enough / The thing about trust is it takes two of us / So, if I let you in here tonight / Hundred degrees, know you want to…

RAYE’s delivery is so perfectly weary, but faintly hopeful that things will be different this time around. (Relatable. Am I right, ladies?)

Please don’t touch me if you don’t mean it / The space between our skin saying more than enough / But once you lay a finger, it can’t be undone / So, please don’t touch me if you don’t mean it…

It’s almost 2020, which means it’s time to make some resolutions. Make one of them to live with intention, which means you should only cuddle up to RAYE if you really, really mean it. In the meantime, however, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if you streamed her new song to your heart’s content while you sort out your shit in therapy.

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Photo credit: Chuffmedia