Listen Up! Sara Rachele – ‘Rebecca’ [PREMIER]

Sara Rachele - 'Rebecca'

‘Rebecca,’ the new affecting cut from Atlanta native, NYC-based Sara Rachele, allows her to work within the sparse production, provided by Kristofer Sampson, using her voice (situated somewhere between Emmylou Harris and Stevie Nicks) to soar across an acoustic guitar while softly serenaded by songbirds and field crickets.

About the song she says ‘My name is Sara Rachele, and I live with regret,’ that’s the way I introduced this song the first time I played it live on stage… ‘Rebecca’ is a story about choice, and consequence. And recovery… The recovery you do when you look yourself in the mirror and don’t really like that person. The part during that.

We recorded this to a two track tape machine as I sat outside in the evening of a hot day in Madison County… Just the three guys and I from my band at the time. I sat in the yard in the tall grass alone, with the cicadas and the truth.

The B side to this single is a piece of one of my favorite hymns, ‘It Is Well,’ it deals with finding comfort after loss, and I’m interested in understanding that… As a writer, and in life.

Sara Rachele’s ‘Madison County,’ out on limited run 7” vinyl, and digital-only, will feature ‘Rachele’ on the A side. The B side is a duet with Andy Leon Appling, ‘It Is Well with My Soul,’ first published in 1876 is public domain. Both songs were recorded live to 1/2 inch tape, in Danielsville GA, of Madison County.

Pre-order here.

Watch Out! Sara Rachele – “You Don’t Move Me” [VIDEO] / Interview

Sara Rachele - "You Don't Move Me"

Sara Rachele is more than a contemporary coffee house folkie crossed with deep-in-the groove rocker and her new single/video proves it.

“You Don’t Move Me” is a reverbed slice of retro girl-group pop layered over emotional
ennui. Director Paul Bray shot the video in sumptuous muted hues at an empty Plaza Theatre in her native Atlanta, GA.

Sara Rachele took time away from her busy schedule to answer a few questions.

Twang Nation: Being from Georgia, there’s a discernible Southern-Quality to your storytelling. How has moving to New York shaped your songwriting?

Sara Rachele: Ironically, moving to Manhattan brought out the southern-ness in my writing – I found it’s the thing I identify with most in the South – is the stories, the folklore. I come from a long line of southern women with big imaginations and even bigger mouths. New York has so many different kinds of folks – the Italian side of my family came through Ellis Island – and I relate to that too.
I think I stuck out as the southern writer of my friends – It just was kind of innately in what I do – in my physiology or something, I just started to stick out for being plain spoken, and I liked that.

TN:You’ve said “Diamond Street” is a result of dealing with loss. While making that album was the loss easier or harder to deal with?

SR:I guess that’s the thing about writers – I definitely always try to tell whatever my truth is, even if it doesn’t paint me in the best light. With Diamond Street – There were a couple years of pent up realizations, expository realizations, I really needed to hash out – It’s probably more confessional that it should be – But that is the thing that heals me, and I think a lot of people, about music. We get to realize that a lot of people have too gone through something similar. I met producer Trina Shoemaker once, and she just came up after a set and said ‘It doesn’t ever go away. But you get better at dealing with it.’ I like to think she’s right.

TN: Is it easier to writes songs when you’re happy or miserable?

SR: Oh, I’m my happiest when I’m miserable, ha. I think whatever space it is – that quiet space – I’m a big believer in intuition – that silence I find where the songs come from, that’s the spot that allows me to write. I think it’s the calm after the storm moments, the reflective post-miserable moments, where inspiration starts for me.

TN: What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that event shape the show/recording?

SR: I cut all the vocals to ‘Diamond Street’ shut in a bathroom at the studio. It’s funny now, but honestly, that isolation was important for a few reasons. On Black Mile, I shut all the lights off for one of the takes, there were no windows in there, and it was complete darkness. I think you hear that in the song.

TN: There’s a view that these are exceptionally hard times to make music a vocation. Has this been your experience?

SR: You know – Yeah. It is, I think if you take no for an answer. I, have never been very good at doing that.

TN: What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

SR: Fearlessly writing – writing without anticipating what anyone else wants to hear. Remembering that my only job, is to be honest with my work, and to create art. I’m into doing that, you know, forever.

TN: “You Don’t Move Me” has a Shangri-Las vibe to to. What are some of the bands/performers that have influenced you?

SR: Thank you. Gosh gosh who doesn’t love Rubin and Spector and girl groups – Carole King for sure, the Goffin/King songs really get into my soul. Maybe cause I’m a keys player first. But that I think, YDMM came from (Composer, Engineer, Producer) Kris Sampson’s head – he just is the coolest. He has a vintage thing about him, that speaks through that song – it was his idea to move it to keys.

TN:What are you up to right now, music-wise? Any current or upcoming recordings, collaborations, tours or top-secret projects, etc.

SR: Touring with Melissa Ferrick in April. OH, AND I HAVE A NEW SINGLE, 7 INCH VINYL, ‘Low (Cracker cover) and B side written byyours truly… out at the end of March!!

Watch the video for “You Don’t Move Me” below.

Purchase ‘Diamond Street’ on CD / cassette at Bandcamp.

Catch Sara Rachele live while she’s on tour.

Listen Up! Sara Rachele – “Listen, Judas” PREMIER

Sara Rachele

It’s a rarity in contemporary music to be honest and reflective. Baring emotional stratum as a public performance involves an nearly masochistic level of self-awareness and equal parts naivety and courage.

Sara Rachele appears to be too savvy to be naive so she must have an epic emotional exoskeleton. “Listen, Judas” is a moody and turbulent cut that sends dagger lyrics hurtling toward a betrayer. Unintentionally Rachele’s words catch on a nail and unravel leaving her exposed to her own indictments and serving as testament to the also burned.

“Listen Judas, you don’t have to do this
Turn on in, pull the blinds, slam the door, shut it tight
Close your eyes to the light.”

“Close your eyes to the light.” Sara Rachele vividly remember writing this song. “Shutting my eyes in the middle of the apartment I lived in at the time in Cambridge, Mass. After a stint in Manhattan, I’d just moved back for a few months to finish school, leaving most everything I owned back in New York. I wrote “Listen, Judas” on the floor, surrounded by paper and sharpies and tequila.

The song was aimed at a particular person in my life whom I’d felt betrayed by. I was exasperated by the decisions he kept making, by his public life, and the discrepancies between who I knew him to be, and who he was as a traveling musician. I wrote this song in judgement of this man and his decisions. But as I wrote, as I sang this song to myself alone in that apartment, it occurred to me that maybe I was writing about myself… about the decisions I kept making to betray myself.”

” “Listen, Judas” was a plea, a letter from one songwriter to another, delivered with the idea that somehow a clever misnomer would bring about change in his life when I couldn’t even bring myself to say his name. But the further I got from the writing, the less it applied to him, and the more it applied to me. What I learned from this song that invoked Judas—that infamous Biblical character of betrayal and deceit—is that I needed to make changes in my own life.”

“To this day, when I play “Listen, Judas,” folks come up and say the wildest things to me after the show. They confess—they tell me about mistakes they’ve made. And they help me understand mine.”

“It’s a simple song, really, a hard earned why-can’t-you-just-stop-in-your-tracks-before-the-mistake song. What began as a rebel yell at a lost love, ended up a chilling reminder to myself. Those things we come to know, the evil we let into our lives… it hangs around if we don’t pay attention. “Listen, Judas” is my warning song.”

Aside from the emotional rawness of the song, there is the spare but proficient performance. It helps that the Decatur, GA native burnished her skills as a teenage keyboardist and background singer in pop band The Love Willows and, after leaving behind the band, moved to New York City where she played coffeehouses & nightclubs of the East Village.

This song on Rachele’s debut “Diamond Street” is a stripped-down acoustic version called “Judas.” This full-band version can be found on the A-side of her new 7-inch single which comes out Nov. 4.

The version of this sisong on is a sparse, stripped-down acoustic version on Diamond Street called “Judas,” but the track you’re premiering today is actually a new full-band version called “Listen, Judas.” It’s the A-side of Sara’s new 7-inch single, which comes out Nov. 4.

Official site | Pre-order