Erin Rae - Live @ NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

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Erin Rae: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Lars Gotrich | July 12, 2019 -- Every time I've seen Erin Rae live, she transforms her quiet storms into different hues of squalling introspection. Her performance at the Tiny Desk opens with a soft tide of ambient tones — both a way to ease into the song but also understand that life's unease is ever-present. Then a lilting acoustic melody introduces "Bad Mind," a stunning statement of identity from a Nashville singer-songwriter who shares the secrets we keep close.

Erin Rae writes songs about letting go of lovers and thoughts that weigh you down, embracing contentment and recognizing the small moments that add up to the grand scheme. But more importantly her songs make you just sit in your thoughts for a tick longer. Putting On Airs, the album Erin Rae released last year, wraps these subtle shifts of folkloric psychedelia in deeply personal songwriting that hits hard two, three listens in.

She's joined here by Jerry Bernhardt, a treasured collaborator and a guitarist who knows how to play decorative but unobtrusive figures. He and drummer Dom Billet both appear on Putting On Airs, taking those arrangements and stretching them out at the Tiny Desk with Mellotron/Rhodes piano player Ben Tanner and bassist Joe Garner. Inventive in these altered live versions, this Tiny Desk closes with "the summer jam," as Erin Rae jokingly calls "Love Like Before," offering another opportunity to reflect as you bop: "Been looking for something I can't track down / Love that I knew before."

"Bad Mind"
"Can't Cut Loose"
"Love Like Before"

Erin Rae: vocals, guitar; Ben Tanner: Fender Rhodes, Mellotron; Joe Garner: bass; Dom Billett: drums; Jerry Bernhardt: guitar

Producers: Lars Gotrich, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Patrick Boyd, Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Kara Frame, Jeremiah Rhodes; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Production Assistant: Paul Georgoulis; Photo: Olivia Falcigno/NPR


Erin Rae (formerly "Erin Rae & the Meanwhiles") are an American folk pop band from Nashville, Tennessee. The band is led by singer Erin Rae McKaskle. According to Rolling Stone, Erin Rae "makes smooth-edged music for Sunday afternoons" and "her arrangements — anchored by pedal-steel guitar and the steady strum of an acoustic guitar — may be rooted in modern-day indie folk, but the songs themselves rustle up comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne".

Erin Rae's second full-length album, Putting On Airs, was released in June 2018.
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