Rachel Ann Weiss

Rachel Ann Weiss

Singer-songwriter Rachel Ann Weiss is going to surprise a lot of people. For years she kept inside her soulfully prodigious musicianship—a dizzying blend of robust and honeyed vocals, and sensual songwriting. Until now. With newfound self-belief, Rachel Ann Weiss steps forward with the mesmerizing debut, Dear Love
“I waited a long time to make an album because I just wasn’t confident,” Rachel says. “In high school I was really quiet. And when I did play in a band in college, I kept my amp really low.” But when her old bandmate Josh Paul—immortalized in the album track “Ballad Of Joshua Paul”—heard some of her solo demos, he was floored. “I remember he said ‘Stop the train! These are too good!’ That was a turning point for me,” she recalls.
The 9-track album Dear Love is impressively assured for a young artist’s debut, let alone, an artist previously hindered by lack of confidence in her gifts. Rachel has crafted a hauntingly gorgeous soul-pop record flowing with smoldering emotionality, simmering grooves, and smoky vocals. She counts her primary influences as Jeff Buckley, Amy Winehouse, Flearoy, Hollie Smith, Melody Gardot, Shirley Bassey, Fiona Apple, Lee Ann Westover, and Adele.
Dear Love is stately and confessional, an album of informed by those introspective moments after love is lost and you’re getting back on your feet. On the title track Rachel sings with elegance and longing: All the roses seem to fade/and somehow I have lost my way/Sunlight always turns to shade and dreaming pulls the heart away/Time will pass and seasons change, we all start to act our age, as the distance makes us strange just play your part up on the stage. “Carry” is reflective and redemptive, like a gospel song it has a “light through the darkness” transcendence made all the more pronounced by shimmering organ work and masterful R&B guitar work. “I wrote that while sitting under a tree in Central Park,” she says. “It’s a romantic goodbye tune to a boy I liked. The sentiment is ‘I love you, but the ocean moves along. I’m here if you want me but I’ll move along if you don’t.’”
The breathtaking ballad “Ballad of Joshua David Paul” has a weary lilting feeling, like those unsteady moments when life feels like it keeps bottoming out. “That’s the most important song I’ve written, “ Rachel confides. “A friend of mine passed away, I was having a rough time with the guy I was dating, and I was taking a college class called American Balladry,” she says. “I ran into my old drummer Josh Paul on campus and told him I have to write a ballad. He said ‘Well, you have to be heartbroken to do it.’” Minutes later she went into one of the college practice rooms, turned out the light, sat at the piano, and the song just coursed through her.
Dear Love was produced by Mason Jar Music, a production company featuring members of the highly regarded jam-funk band Flearoy. The album is vibrantly vintage, boasting crisp fidelity and masterfully classic R&B ensemble playing. Rachel went to high school and guitar camp with Mason Jar Music co-founder/Flearoy guitarist Dan Knobler. She’s long admired his work, and the two have an intuitive musical connection.
Rachel is the daughter of two talented parents. Her father is a lifelong lover of the guitar. Her mother is the well-known actress Kathleen Turner. Both have been supportive of Rachel’s decision to pursue a career in music. In fact, her first gig was onstage at The Stephen Talkhouse, an Amagansett, New York club often frequented by celebrities like Billy Joel. She remembers that gig vividly. “I forgot the lyrics to the song we were performing and I yelled at my dad onstage. Which, at the time, was awful, but I consider it the best start I could have. You can only go up from a trainwreck like that,” she says laughing.

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