Gracie and Rachel

Biography

Gracie and RachelRighteous Babe Records

Gracie and Rachel are a study in duality: light and dark, classical training with a pop sensibility, Californians in New York. Their music pits anxiety and tension against an almost serene self-assurance on their self-titled debut, and their live show is equal parts fierce drama and delicate intimacy.

Their music is a compelling juxtaposition of Gracie’s piano and lead vocals and Rachel’s violin and voice, augmented with stark percussion. The nine orchestral-pop songs on Gracie and Rachel tell a story that’s rooted in the truth —their truth — but retain an enigmatic air that makes them relatable to anyone who has ever found their heart racing with doubt and pushed forward regardless, or triumphed in subverting expectations imposed from without.

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“I think that’s representative of how I feel as a human being, of how Rachel feels,” Gracie says. “It is our story, but we’re working to express a duality that’s open to everyone.”

Their story begins when they met in high school in Berkeley, California, in a dance class, and were assigned a musical collaboration that took hold. After attending music schools in different parts of the country, they moved to Brooklyn where they built out a loft space to be their studio and home. That’s where they started writing the songs on Gracie and Rachel, “living, working, breathing every moment together, and making music in that universe,” says Gracie.

Their close-quarters creative process lends a sense of urgency to their music that cascades through the rollercoaster arc of the album. Baeble Music hailed opener “Tiptoe,” with its eerie ghost tones and taut percussion, as “beautiful and unsettling,” a description that applies to the spacious piano and sympathetic violin on “(Un)comfortable,” or the hammering piano part on “Go,” all the way to the ringing vocals that build to a defiant crescendo on “Don’t Know” to close the record.

“We tiptoed into this not sure how to make our mark, and by the end of the album, hopefully, you’re feeling a lot more anger and confidence and empowerment,” Gracie says. “

“It all comes from the intimacy of Gracie’s piano and voice and my violin and voice,” Rachel says, and it’s no accident that the effects are often physical. “We try to hone in on the body experience as well as the mind experience.”

The women have become so attuned to one another that they seem to instinctively know where their songs are going without having to discuss it. “There’s just an understanding of what’s going to work,” Gracie says. “She’s classically trained, and I had these verse-chorus, verse-chorus tendencies. We both helped each other break away from certain constructs at the beginning to find our own sound. It’s taken some years, but there’s almost no verbal conversation about it now.”

“We’ve gotten more trusting as we’ve gotten older,” Rachel adds. “We can anticipate the other person’s inclinations.”

Gracie and Rachel pair their music with a strong visual aesthetic that emphasizes the ways in which they complement each other, even as they contrast. It’s evident in their striking black-and-white videos that play with light and shadow, and in the photo that graces the album cover, where Gracie, dressed in white, covers Rachel’s eyes with her hand while Rachel, dressed in black, covers Gracie’s mouth.

“Sometimes Rachel says she’s my ears, and I’m her eyes, and I think that’s true in our music,” Gracie says. “Sometimes there’s something I see in the world I want to comment on, and she knows how to express it through sound.”

Though they make music as a duo, Gracie and Rachel together far exceed the sum of their parts. Like their stylized color palette, their instrumentation appears simple and spare at first glance. But there’s a powerful prism effect at work in their music that brings us back to the concept of duality: their songs are intimate and expansive, introspective and also inviting. “Using black and white, we don’t want to only make gray,” Gracie says. “We’re working to find different ways to make more colors come out from just two entities.”


News

If The World Was Ending Out Now

If The World Was Ending

Gracie and Rachel’s new cover “If The World Was Ending” is out now on Righteous Babe Records!

The duo says, “The first time we heard this song we were drawn to the intertwined feelings of immediacy and longing; imagining the world ending combined with thoughts about who exactly you’d want to end the world with really puts you in a place of raw confrontation, both with yourself and the world around you. It asks you to think more deeply about what you stand for and believe in on this planet while also pushing you to assess the interpersonal relationships you have here. How can we do better for both? When the pandemic hit, this song struck us in a new way.”

Listen here

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New music from Gracie and Rachel out now on Righteous Babe Records

We are proud to release new music from Gracie and Rachel on Righteous Babe Records distributed by United For Opportunity! This piano-violin duo has supported Ani DiFranco on multiple tours and we are grateful to officially welcome them to the Righteous Babe family.

Gracie and Rachel’s inaugural singles from their forthcoming album on Righteous Babe Records explore the depths of their emotional states and the walls we build up inside ourselves; it’s music to excavate our inner fears and help find the empowerment from within.

Listen to their first two singles “Trust” and “Ideas” out now: https://righteousbabe.ffm.to/trustideas

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Gracie and Rachel named one of NPR Music’s Artists to Watch at SXSW

Gracie and Rachel are one of NPR Music’s artists to watch at SXSW! Come out to these showcases for an experience that NPR calls “at once sunny and dark, sad and sweet, gentle and intense.”
3.14 at 9pm // NPR Music Showcase at Stubb’s Austin (indoors)
3.15 at 3pm // PledgeHouse at The Blackheart (outdoors)
3.15 at 10pm // SXSW Official Showcase at Stephen F’s Bar & Terrace
3.16 at 2pm // Icenhauer’s

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UFO Releases

Elastic Heart

With the help of producer and friend John Fredericks (John The Baptist), Gracie and Rachel put their spin on Sia’s “Elastic Heart. Their version premiered on BlackBook.

“It’s a song that moves us in its fierce empowerment to bounce back from what brings you down and is a reminder that each of us has the strength within to own the heart we want to own.”

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