Von Grey with Rachel McClusky and K. Serra
Rachel Mcclusky, K. Serra
3420 W. Grace St
Chicago, IL, 60618
Doors 8:00PM / Show 9:00PM
This event is 21 and over
With their soulful four-part harmonies, poetic lyrics and indelible melodies, it's easy to see why the Atlanta Journal Constitution would hail von Grey as "nothing short of stunning." They sound like they were born to play together – and, in fact, they were. The four sisters have been playing music nearly their entire lives. Classically trained from an early age, the Atlanta-based quartet – Kathryn, Annika, Fiona and Petra von Grey – have built on that foundation by performing upwards of 200 shows in the past two years, from recurring residency tours at intimate venues throughout the southeastern U.S. to supporting gigs with such artists as Sarah McLachlan.
Their forthcoming five-song EP, recorded with GRAMMY® award-winning producer/engineer Nick DiDia (Bruce Springsteen, Train, The Gaslight Anthem), captures the band's essence and the raw intensity of their live performances.
"There are times when musical expression is more important than perfect execution," explains Fiona. She and Annika are von Grey's lead vocalists and chief songwriters. "There are times I want to hear my fingers slide on the guitar string, when the breath I take before a phrase is as important as the lyric that follows."
Working in a vein similar to that of such contemporaries as The Civil Wars and Mumford & Sons, von Grey masterfully melds folk, bluegrass and country influences, imbuing time-honored musical idioms with a distinctly modern sensibility. From the opening "What Am I," a stirring plea for unity and understanding, to the bittersweet "Shane," the collection provides a remarkable introduction to von Grey.
"It's only the beginning," says Annika. "Each step makes us eager to reach further. There's always another emotion or thought aching to be shared in just the right way – the rhythm of living."
Indeed, it's their attunement to this rhythm that makes von Grey's songs at once so personal and so universal. It's music that not only speaks to us, it speaks for us.
Chicago-based singer-songwriter Rachel McClusky has a passion and talent for making art that "helps people connect. I want to help people through situations by writing music that they can relate to."
McClusky knows just how a song or uplifting melody can make a difference. Even at 18, she has a maturity that outpaces her years, and has used music to transcend personal experiences. "Music was the only thing I could rely on, the only thing that made sense through my teenage years," she says.
This translates to a pop approach that reflects some of McClusky’s most valued influences. She admires Taylor Swift's songwriting and Beyoncé’s vocal stylings. However, her style is all her own - honest and direct in its mix of lyric and melody.
On her self-released EP “Beleave Me,” McClusky points to the songs "Secret Crush" and "Yesterday" as representative of her sound and style. “Secret Crush” speaks to the confusion of love in the teenage years. “Maybe you think you love someone, but it's tough to figure out. There's the tension of being stuck on an old love when a new love comes into play," says McClusky.
But for her, love extends to surprising places. Her song "Be a Fan" was chosen as the theme song for the 2010 U.S. Special Olympics National Games. She performed the song for 15,000 people at the opening and closing ceremonies in Lincoln, Nebraska. "I've volunteered with Special Olympics since I was 6, and this song expresses everything I feel about why these athletes are so remarkable," McClusky says.
With a growing presence on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, McClusky has her sights set on taking her music to a whole new level. Especially with her single “Secret Crush” being featured in the Disney film “Prom” and her first full-length album being released fall of 2011.
K. Serra is the pet project of Rachel Sarah Thomas. A classically trained vocalist from the age of 5, Thomas was geared to become an opera singer. While studying vocal performance at the University of Michigan Thomas was asked to sing on several electronic projects from other students in the school. She fell in love with the medium, left the classical world and began to explore. During this time Thomas was experimenting with recording herself and developed her signature style. Using nothing but her voice and household objects like paper plates and towel racks, she’d compose 50 track pieces in a few hours featuring teeth chatter, grunts, and lush vocal scenes.
After college she became a jazz singer and lead singer and keyboard player for psychedelic rock band Automata. K. Serra is her most recent and personal project.
For her first single REVIVAL, Thomas began multi tracking to tape, playing every single instrument on her first studio single herself – with the exception of bass and trumpet. Her debut single, REVIVAL, was written for this project on a friends challenge to write a song in a pentatonic scale (not sure if she did it right, but she really liked the song!)
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