Ok, so yes I cried when I interviewed Rachel Baiman. Her writing is stirring and brutal and then when you read about the inspiration behind the songs on her new album Cycles, it’s like automatic water works for me. From frank observations of her grandparent’s loss of agency to women reckoning the heaviness and grief of motherhood, I am INTO the emotion of these songs. Rachel came to songwriting after she had spent her youth mastering the fiddle. She actually kept her school life separate from her fiddle life, where she would pal around with other kids at the fiddle contests and also play in jams with people four times her age. She attended Vanderbilt in Nashville for an anthropology degree where she centered a lot of her research papers on the fiddle. She left Nashville to study in Edinboro and took full advantage of of the music community she found. That would also set her up to seek out a music community in Nashville upon her return.
Rachel is known for her solo career and for her “Nerdy Fiddle Duo“ 10 String Symphony with fiddle player Christian Sedelmyer. The band deconstructs traditional forms and incorporates a lot of original elements. She’s three albums deep into her solo work, the latest being produced by Liv Hally of the Australian indie band, Oh Pep! For Cycles, she went to Melbourne to record with Liv to get into her scene. Rachel says “I kind of have this theory that if you want a specific sound, go to the place, use the studio, use the person, use the gear, get in the vibe of the place.” The album, while it’s rooted in her folk sound, has a grittier and poppier edge that I find irresistible. It’s on the top of my list for 2021 (so far!). Also, she gives us the details on her super cute house and what it means to her to have a place like that to call home. Lots of leaking eyes (AKA crying) for Rachel Baiman.