Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2023

7:00pm Doors, 8:00pm Show

$15 ADV | $18 DOS

Lighten Up And Try Tour

Presented by:
Zero Mile

  • Erin Rae

  • Erin Rae

    Thr ee y ears after the r elease of her cri tical ly ac claimed debut, Put ting On Airs, Nash vi l le-r aised singer -songwri ter Erin R ae shar es an intimate, honest, and pla yf ul v ersion of hersel f thr ough her sophomor e album Lighten Up . Pr oduced b y Jonathan Wi lson, and r ecor ded in the musical ly hal lowed gr ounds of Cal i f ornia’ s T opanga Can y on, the album r epr esents a sonic and inner shi ft f or R ae. I n i t, she embr aces mor e of her influences, l ik e bar oque-pop , cosmic country , and indie-f olk songs whi le mirr oring a mor e compassionate sel f - view she cal ls “ac cepting m y humanness” . Al though she gr ew up in a musical ly oriented f ami ly , R ae’ s pursui t of music happened b y ac cident. After being gi fted a Martin acoustic gui tar on her 18th birthda y , R ae decided to dr op out of col lege after just one semester . Her goal at the time had l i t tle to do wi th making music into a car eer , and ev erything to do wi th spending mor e time and ener gy wi th the communi t y of musicians and wri ters she knew back home. Looking back on those da ys, she r ecal ls the ini tial high of pla ying l iv e at an open mic during winter br eak and r eal izing, “this is how I connect wi th people. I ha v e to pursue this. ” R ae has continued to connect wi th people thr ough her music ev er since, perf orming at mainsta ys l ik e Newport F olk F estiv al, R ed R ocks Amphi theater , and sharing stages wi th F ather John Mist y , Hiss Golden Messenger , Jenn y Lewis, Jason I sbel l, and I r on & Wine. The suc cess of Put ting On Airs also earned her a nomination f or Emer ging Act of The Y ear at the 2019 Americana Music A w ar ds alongside other tr ai lblazing artists l ik e Y ola, Jade B ir d, and J .S . Ondar a. When the Co vid-19 pandemic cal led a hal t to touring, R ae took adv antage of the opportuni t y to r ev el in a wide r ange of musical influences she had absorbed since the making of Put ting On Airs , si t ting in an un-rushed space whi le deciding which dir ection she w anted to tak e her music next. Though R ae sa ys the cor e of her work wi l l alw a ys stem f r om the songwri ting she w as r aised on, the making of Put ting On Airs wi th col labor ators Jerry B ernhar dt, Dan Knobler , and Dominic B i l let t inspir ed her to deepen her music explor ation outside the tr adi tional Americana bo x and l isten to r ecor ds in a br oader w a y . “It opened up a sonic world to me that I had alw a ys enjo y ed, but that f el t m ysterious. The pr ocess of making m y last r ecor d al lowed me to visual iz e how r ecor ded sounds come to be, so r eturning to r ecor dings of belo v ed artists l ik e F eist, Judee Si l l, Wi lco , became ex ci ting al l o v er again. I could suddenly imagine what w as happening in the r oom to cr eate what I w as hearing on the r ecor ding. ” This newf ound ex ci tement led R ae down man y r abbi t holes, particularly a deep-div e into Engl ish psy ch-f olk artists l ik e K evin A y ers and P ete Del lo And Friends, as wel l as songwri ters l ik e Gene Clark, S cot t W alk er , and Jesse Winchester . That expansiv e disco v ery of musical i t y led her to connect wi th Wi lson, known f or his work wi th artists l ik e F ather John Mist y , Jenn y O . , and R oger W aters. Their shar ed lo v e f or the cinematic pop of the W alk er B r others, B obbie Gentry , and the f olk st yl ings of Mar go Gury an cr eated a sol id f oundation to cr eate together , so R ae flew to Wi lson's Fiv e Star Studios in F ebruary 2021. Wi lson cal led on musicians Jak e B lanton (B edouine, The Ki l lers) and Dr ew Erickson (W ey esblood, F ather John Mist y) to contribute bass, k eys, and string arr angements, and pla y ed drums and lead gui tars himsel f . Erin in vi ted f riends K evin Morb y and Meg Duf f y of Hand Habi ts to contribute, and Wi lson's longtime f riend Ny Oh to sing some of the backgr ound v ocals. The r esul t is a f r esh, authentic, and singular col lection of r ecor dings that ar e clearly r ooted in a classic "can y on" sound. Lighten Up also showcases a new lev el of personal gr owth f or R ae, and in vi tes l isteners to shar e in the r esul ts of her work tow ar ds sel f - ac ceptance. “My last r ecor d w as a lot of sel f - assessment and cri ticism, and trying to kick old habi ts and w a ys of r elating to people, ” R ae acknowledges. “This one is about blossoming, opening up , and l iving a l i t tle mor e in the pr esent moment. Ac cepting what i t is to be human. ” I n the lead single, “Modern W oman” R ae celebr ates womanhood and f eminini t y in al l of i ts f orms, countering outdated bel ief s o v er driving drums and r ocking gui tars and in vi ting an inclusiv e perspectiv e thr ough her cheeky lyrics “come see a modern woman. ” Wi th “Lighten Up and T ry” a song that embodies the album’ s ti tle, as wel l as i ts ethos, R ae dwel ls on the pr ocess of opening up to lo v e and to l i f e, and the vulner abi l i t y that comes wi th that pr ocess. Expounding on the song’ s meaning, R ae shar es, “This song f or me just f eels l ik e celebr ating the vulner abi l i t y of l iving. Sa ying y eah, ‘No one r eal ly knows what they ’r e doing. Y ou just ha v e to try . ’ ” I n the measur ed tr ack, “Mind - Heart ” R ae outl ines the dangers of codependency , and thr ough the str aightf orw ar d lyrics, “the mind is f uck ed but the heart is pur e, ” she medi tates on the unr el iabi l i t y of thoughts. “B oth of m y par ents ha v e pr acticed medi tation thr oughout m y l i f e f ol lowing di f f er ent tr adi tions. This song f or me is essential ly using mindf ulness to detach f r om habi tual pat terns of thought and beha vior , and r econnecting to the heart, the intui tion. ” I n “T rue Lo v e’ s F ace” she opens to the potential of lo v e and the choice to not flee f r om i t o v er r etr o melodies, af firming thr ough her bel l-l ik e v ocals, “I wi l l know i t when I see i t / I wi l l not turn i t a w a y . ” And in the psy chedel ic “Candy + Curry” R ae balances a w ak ening and being center ed in the pr esent moment, wi th a soundscape that in vi tes the l istener to r elax and enjo y the ride. Wi th Lighten Up , R ae hopes to giv e l isteners the opportuni t y to borr ow what she’ s learned, that ther e can be a l ightness when things f eel hea vy and that ev en our dark est corners can al low us to shine. “I hope this r ecor d encour ages people to be a l i t tle softer tow ar ds themselv es. ” R ae shar es. “If [ Lighten Up ] giv es people l istening the space to f eel mor e tender tow ar ds themselv es and mo v e in the world f r om that place, that would be the dr eam f or me. ”

  • Bryan Cates