You may have heard her of before without really knowing it… if you watch the Showtime hit series “Weeds” or the MTV program “My Life as Liz”, you would have heard Rachel Goodrich. Not only does her music sell Crayons but it sells her quirky sensibility: pop songs and her own concoction of instruments and sounds. Rachel Goodrich has found great successes because of this signature sound and her no-holds-barred attitude. How would I know this without even meeting her? Well, one way of getting this idea planted firmly in mind is by watching the handful of different videos she has released for her hit song “Lightbulb”. You can either see a traveling piñata living out the song, or you can see some ruffians singing it to you with booty shakes and the whole bit. One thing that comes across though, is that Rachel is proud to represent all that is Miami Florida – her habitat – and she features it in her music and videos; as well as her interviews and overviews.
The title of Rachel’s debut album, Tinker Toys, which came out in 2008, is a perfect set of words to describe the sound of her music. Comparable to Canadian (Ontario native) singer/songwriter Jenny Omnichord, Rachel Goodrich utilizes guitar, charango, pump organ, melodica, kazoo, bells, whistles, trombone and other fun percussive sounds to make her 2011 release Rachel Goodrich really come together. It is a fury of fun! I feel like she would be the Pee Wee Herman of indie pop music -it’s something to be celebrated by all walks of life. Rachel’s songwriting approach is very cohesive yet wacky. It isn’t so much an emotional project though, it seems to be a fun and fancy free portrait of her confessionals and anthropological discoveries. Pairing up with her, to make the whole product come together is Grammy nominated producer Greg Wells- also a Canadian (Ontario native) - known for his work with artists like: Rufus Wainwright, Weezer and Timbaland.
This 11-piece collection of jingles and ditties has been very much made at home on my playlists. As far as artists to watch for in 2011, keep Rachel Goodrich on your radar!
‘Beneath Black Robes’ is Silber’s offering of remixes and re-imaginings of Detroit, Michigan virtuoso Sarah June’s latest album ‘In Black Robes’ and as an added bonus the majority of these remixes come courtesy of Remora’s Brian John Mitchell and Brian McKenzie of Electric Bird Noise.
‘Brand of Bitterness (Shoegaze Mix)’ expertly combines the drones and dark ambience of Remora with June’s childlike ethereal voice (reminiscent of Katie Jane Garside) creating a dreamlike, eerie atmosphere that complements both artists without one overshadowing the other.
‘Shadows Too’ however puts a stop to all that doom and gloom nonsense from before and channels ‘Moldy Peaches’ style simplistic lyrics and guitar chords. Sure, this track was recorded for a kids TV show and its light hearted jaunt is well intentioned but for the embittered cynics such as yours truly this was a long 1:37. ‘Bluesy Melody (Ridiculous Stereo)’ provides a similar irk too though by no means an un-listenable track, merely out of place and pale in comparison to the other remixes present. ‘Stagefright’ then works perhaps as the antithesis of ‘Shadows Too’, simplistic in its composition, it none the less simmers with passion with the distorted guitars’ repetitive riffs, making this live track hypnotic and spellbinding.
‘Ghost of Chevrolet’, mixed by Brian McKenzie, by far the most surreal rendition is also perhaps the most straightforward with the majority of the work coming from slowing down the track to turn June’s usually soft effeminate voice into a deep, slow moan, while a heavy bass guitar riff oppresses the environment with its lumbering tones.
Silber would do well to keep hold of this artist, and maybe, just maybe, filter out the lighter elements as the mix of dark gloomy music and June’s voice is something pretty fresh and enthralling.