The Lansing artist and one-time ‘American Idol’ contestant premiered new songs for Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted music by Isaac Ryder, Dynaflo, Joshua Rilko, Pink Sky and more.
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Immersed in music from a young age, Rachel Curtis performed in musicals and talent shows while growing up in Lansing, eventually taking the stage at “a bar down the street” for her first solo gigs.
“From there, it just snowballed,” said the singer, multi-instrumentalist and Waverly High School grad.
Curtis has since landed “cool opportunities” to open for national touring acts, made a much-publicized 2018 stint on “American Idol” and played Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Now, at age 26, she’s set to release a full-length studio album that represents her “own personal journey” of the past few years.
“It’s a combination of songs about facing the reality of my own emotions and embracing those obstacles while also reminiscing about happy memories of the past and looking forward to the future,” she said.
“I feel like this music is straight from my own diary.”
Recorded at Lansing’s Glymurtone Studios with Curt Micol – who’s played “a huge part” in mentoring and shaping Curtis’ music – the self-titled album officially gets released June 3 during a performance at Double Clutch in Lansing, with Kanin Elizabeth and Adam Droscha also on the bill.
For this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, Curtis spotlighted two tracks from the new album: “To Arise” and “Lime Green Grass.” Check out the video for “To Arise” here and scroll down to listen to the interview and the full radio show.
VIDEO: Rachel Curtis, “To Arise”
Inspired by the likes of Adele, Maggie Rogers, Kacey Musgraves, Bishop Briggs, Harry Styles, Hozier and more, Curtis views her music as weaving “a common thread between alternative folk and pop” via the singer-songwriter realm.
“In the past, I always loved to cover Adele, Norah Jones, Bishop Briggs and many others. But I felt I was missing out on getting to sing that type of style that I was more comfortable with in my original music,” she offered.
“So there was almost this bridge I wanted to cross between my folk and pop sound that happened kinda naturally. This new album I feel gave me the opportunity to finally blend all of my inspirations from the past and my folks days together into my own voice and my own writing.”
Curtis plans to follow up her album-release with July performances at The 5 Spot in Nashville and Sofar Sounds in Chicago, while plotting and booking more summer shows to help promote the new recording.
This week’s episode of Local Spins on WYCE – which explores local and regional music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org – also featured the debut of new tracks by Pink Sky, Isaac Ryder, Jax Anderson (the musician’s pick by Curtis), Dynaflo, The American Hotel System, Elijah Russ and Joshua Rilko, along with music from Nicholas James & The Bandwagon, Ernie Clark & The Magnificent Bastards and Greensky Bluegrass. Listen to the show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (5/27/22)
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