The first lyrics that Rachel Efron lettered onto the wall of her childhood bedroom in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, were from Paul Simon’s, “Still Crazy After All These Years.” It was a small transgression, but as it turned out, the first step down an ever-increasingly slippery slope. All of her favorite songs found a place. From the Beatles: “Here comes the sun, little darling.” From Van Morrison: “Call me up in dreamland / Radio to me, man.” And soon, any new verse or chorus she so much as noticed went quickly to press: “I almost ran over an angel,” Tori Amos told her; “Did I disappoint you / Leave a bad taste in your mouth,” U2 asked her. The writing was on the wall, so to speak, but it had occurred to no one, least of all Rachel, herself, that she’d undertake to write some of her own lyrics someday.
That day ended up being ten years later, during her senior year at Harvard University. She was deep in the world of academia, writing a thesis in Social Anthropology about her recent fieldwork in Nicaragua. But even amidst the essays and ethnographies, she was very clearly stalking the arts… Her Anthropology focus was “poetics;” basically, in lieu of making art, Rachel was studying culture as a piece of art. Meanwhile, she honed her writing ability with poetry and creative nonfiction classes, as well as her musicality, studying classical piano, performing in various jazz ensembles, and taking both traditional music theory courses at Harvard and jazz piano lessons with a professor at Berklee College of Music. Finally, it occurred to her to introduce her two loves of words and music, and her first song was born. It felt like opening a present, and as odd and misshapen as the little thing was, she was enchanted. She persevered, writing a dozen more songs, and by the end of the year she was putting on concerts in the common rooms of dorms that drew hundreds of people.
As graduation approached and her classmates planned for careers in law or medicine or finance, Rachel at last gave herself permission to make art the centerpiece of her life. She challenged herself personally and artistically with a move across the country to California’s Bay Area, whose varied music scene has served as her creative cocoon and catalyst for growth ever since. She has recorded three full-length albums and one EP, worked with the best musicians in the Bay Area and New England, played such premier listening rooms as Freight and Salvage (Berkeley), Yoshi’s (Oakland), The Independent (San Francisco), Club Passim (Cambridge), The Living Room (NYC), and Tin Angel (Philadelphia), opened for Sara Bareilles, Vienna Teng, Jill Sobule, and Spencer Day, and has had her music played on radio stations across the United States and Europe, time and again establishing herself as a singer/songwriter with that most precious quality of a unique artistic voice.
For her most recent project, a full length album to be released in 2020, Rachel teamed up with one of her best music friends, producer Jon Evans (Tori Amos, Sarah MacLachlan). Over three years, and on two coasts, they created lush, haunted, rhythmic, and direct sound spaces for each its twelve songs. Featuring Jon on bass, alongside drummer Matthias Bossi (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum), and trumpet player / horn arranger Erik Jekabson (Electric Squeezebox Orchestra), it is alternately mischievous, irreverent, and poignant, but always pointed in the direction of unflinching if poetic honesty. Standouts include singles, “I Changed My Mind, I Want You,” and “Your Money Costs Too Much,” as well as the delightfully saucy, “Little Bit Of Bad,” the can’t-look-away disturbing “Demeter’s Dream” and “Last Goodbye (Persephone’s Dream)”, and the loving and languid, “Hold Me In The Dark.”

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