Nashville is so full of female singer/songwriters that it’s a rare day when one of them is able to come in and completely take your breath away. We first saw Erin Rae perform at the second Cause A Scene Collective show in July. She played 2 songs. We were hooked from the start. She and her band, the Meanwhiles, just released their new EP “Crazy Talk”. It’s simply beautiful. “Crazy Talk” likes somewhere between the folk/pop that has emerged from Nashville and across the pond with London’s “new folk” scene and a classic Americana sound.
Growing up, Erin Rae would listen to her parents sing and play music together after family dinners, playing folkier versions of Mississippi John Hurt, Doc Watson and John Prine. As she grew up and began playing at county fairs ‘before she got too old to be shy”, Erin Rae looked up to the legends of Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin and Gillian Welch, and their influence can be felt on her debut. She shares Brandi Carlile’s immaculate sense of melody blended with lyrics that are both extremely personal, but make you feel right at home in the story. It’s an intimate album that makes an instant connection with the listener. When she sings, it’s as if you’re the only one in the room. It’s an album of transition, coming to terms with the truth that life isn’t exactly the way you thought it would be and coming to terms with reality, and being content with that.
In the title track, Erin Rae’s voice dances elegantly over a soft bed of strings and piano melodies. “I know that your life can feel threatened, it makes it hard to come alive,” she sings, and you immediately feel a sense of both comfort and wonder. It’s this sincere thought that instills a hopefulness that is present throughout each of the EP’s five songs.
In “I Hope You Get What You Need”, Erin Rae sings about the common story of lost love. But rather than the angry wails we’ve come to know and love from other female artists like Adele, Erin Rae swings the pendulum the other way to a melancholy conclusion that “it’s probably better than I don’t join you for this journey / I hope you have a wonderful ride.” Throughout Erin Rae and the Meanwhile’s debut EP there remains a soothing reminder that we’re all in this together and everything is going to be just fine in the end, no matter the route we take to get there. As her first step out into the Nashville music scene, it’s a joy to witness Erin Rae coming into her own voice and growing by leaps and bounds with every show. We had the pleasure of catching her album release show (video below) and can’t wait to see her next Thursday the 29th with Andrew Combs at the High Watt. If you want to catch one of Nashville’s brightest young talents, we highly recommend you be there.
– Jameson Elder & Larry Kloess