Tennessee fiddler and singer-songwriter Rachel Baiman returned to Nine Volt Heart to talk about her new album, “Cycles”. It is a breakthrough release in terms of Rachel’s songwriting. She has honed that fine line between autobiographical and relatable. While the subject matter is personal to Rachel with songs covering her nephew’s birth to her influential grandmother’s death, they are told and sung in a way that seems universal; certainly genuine. Sibling relationships as well as marriage are mined in this collection along with a healthy dose of self doubt and anxiety. In other words, issues we all have been dealing with.
While Rachel and her musician husband, George Jackson, live in Madison Tn; the album was recorded in Melbourne Australia utilizing local musicians (as well as members of Oh!Pep!) The music reflects those elements by being less rootsy and leans into Melbourne’s indy rock scene. Either way, the strength is in the songs. We begin the segment with Rachel’s previous album’s title cut, “Shame” which wickedly indicts paternalistic religion. The new songs from “Cycles” include “Joke’s On Me” which explores the concept of ambition and it’s pitfalls. We finish with Rachel’s dedication of the song “When you Bloom (Colorado)” to her sister “Becca. We listen to “No Good Time For Dying” as well.
Our conversation covers topics such as her new label, Signature Sounds, and the decision to join Northampton’s local label. We also talk about upcoming tours with Molly Tuttle and Della Mae which will include an appearance at this year’s Green River Festival! Rachel talks about building a home on the edge of the John Hartford property in a tiny cabin that she and George remodeled entirely. Their efforts were chronicled in the blog, Apartment Therapy. They also remodeled an old trailer although Rachel claims it’s not practical to tour in their latest retrofit project.
The full release of “Cycles” will be on 6/11 on Signature Sounds, but you can get a sneak peek/listen in our segment.