Rachel Austin stretches the borders of experimental folk and grungy pop, reflecting the influences of her childhood home in the mountains of Virginia. She splits her time between Oakland, California and Belfast, Northern Ireland. With a voice that soars “like an earth angel” (Hot Press Magazine) and songwriting that is “at once haunted and uplifting, yearning yet triumphant” (Daily Mirror), Austin adds junk tremolo guitar to create a sound compared to that of Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, Diamanda Galas, and Woven Hand. In her live performances, she weaves these vocals and songs together using simple voice and loop station arrangements and electronic material to make playful yet bold statements.
Rachel Austin writes songs that keep forming, shifting, changing even in their stasis and form. Like, you know, every time you play a song you find something new in it - some new twang to the strings, new note to hit, some different aspect to the lyrics you never felt before, or a reaction from the audience you hadn't seen in the past.
The diverse list of artists with whom she has shared the stage and supported shows the variety and strength of her work: ?Florence and the Machine, Kronos Quartet, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Foy Vance, Duke Special, Eleanor McEvoy, Devon Sproule, POD, and Steve Forbert. She recorded her Age Trilogy (2010-2012) with Brian Beattie (producer: Okkervil River, Daniel Johnston), drummer Dony Wynn (drummer: Robert Palmer, Robert Plant), and Declan Legge (producer: Soak, Jealous of the Birds). She has spent the last few years playing on the avant garde circuit whilst honing her electronic composition skills at Mills College, Oakland and through composing and performing for dance.
For her Winterspring 2019 tour, Austin will be promoting her new EP, "Learning, but never knowing?" while touring with innovative songwriter & composer Hannah McPhillimy. The EP takes the form of an art book and short film in collaboration with printing artist, Amira Hegazy, visual artist Sholeh Asgary, and filmmaker Tim Estep.
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