Erin Rae garners many comparisons to folk queens like Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell – and, yes, her effortless, floating voice could sing the most beautiful of lullabies (the only problem being you’d never actually fall asleep, because you don’t want to stop listening). But when I first heard “Minolta,” off of her debut full-length, Soon Enough, I immediately thought of Guy Clark and his “Randall Knife.” It’s one thing to write a love song, a tribute song, a story of loss or gain. It’s another to find away to express this through a more subtle point of view, using a what might be a simple object (an old hunting knife, a camera) to shine a more brilliant, humanistic light on our day to day emotions. There’s a gut-wrenching mix of optimism and heartbreak in “Minolta”: after all, these are the days of iPhones and Instagram. When she sings, to a whirl of steel guitar, “take a picture I can come and look at sometime,” there’s a tinge of nostalgic hope. We yearn for connection as much as we yearn to see the world through someone else’s eyes, to understand, for a minute the choices we each make. That kind of thing deserves more than a casual post to social media – it deserves a tick of real film, it deserves a song. It deserves, really, someone like Erin Rae.
There’s no denying that Soon Enough has become one of our favorite records of 2015 – just listen to the title track. Aside from the lyrical content and gorgeous voice (proving a subtle mastery of a divine tone is just as impressive as superfluous vocal acrobatics) there’s a melody that dips deeply into your bones. You can’t forget it – it seems timeless, catchier that some pop songs on the Billboard charts. But it’s subtle. Subtle and unforgettable: that’s Erin Rae.
We we thrilled to host Erin Rae at our launch party for the UnLocked Sessions, to live tape two videos alongside Ruby Amanfu (watch here) and Kelsey Waldon (be on the lookout shortly!), with support from “Smokin'” Brett Resnick on steel. Watch “Minolta” and “Rose Color” below. Big thanks to the Basement East for the venue and our partners, Made In Network.