“It all started in the summer of 2008.
After the departure of Shadow Kim (vox of local bands
Violent Jokes and Sea Monsters), PorPor Channel(member of
22 Cats) met Rachel by coincidence and he found out that
she was actually the only one who believed
in his music.” -Taken from their website.
1. Waiting Vi
2. DD Sister Doesn’t Watch TV
3. Possibility (我‧我)
4. Koya (You’re My Monster)
5. Rachel Needs A Break
6. Six O’clock
7. Love Song
8. Movie Movie Move
9. Old Songs
10. Eat More (Dark Chocolate Mix)
11. Old Songs (Mint Chocolate Mix)
12. Eat More (original)
Catching the ferry to and from work this week Rachel Believes in Me’s debut album has been perfect sailing music.
I reckon the trick with writing a good folk record is creating space and simplicity. When recording, this can be harder than it sounds. There is a temptation for folk groups to get into a recording studio and put too much stuff into a song, hoping that the fullness of equipment will give them the fullness of sound. Silence can often be the loudest part of a track. Simplicity and air is what gives a good folk album its breath. Rachel Believes in Me have certainly found their breath in the studio and made a really lovely dark folk record.
The contrasts in the album are what make it twisted sweet for me. Vocalist Rachel has a lovable innocent voice, but the guitars, lyrics and melodies form a darkness which lends to a perfect unease. Add to that Por Por jumping in on some Lou Reed like vocals (a nice clash with Rachel’s loveliness) and we have something pretty special; pretty evil sweet.
Listening from end to end, it’s a spiralling journey downwards. It kicks off with the cute little number ‘Waiting’ which has all the innocence. But ever so slowly the album progresses into darker and more brooding places. It ends up with Eat More, a shadowy little diddle with some of my favourite moments. I’m not sure if it was intentional but listening to the whole record through certainly feels like an adventure down a certain rabbit hole. The lyrics are simple, strange and a little disturbing, adding perfectly to that lovely youthful awkwardness within the record. A couple of songs that stay with me are ‘Possibility’ , for its cool driving and droning lyric ‘Yes I know that we can’t be missed’ and Old Songs for its fine layering of vocals.
The production is nice. It is very well crafted, and you can instantly tell the people involved have spent a fair amount of time in the studio testing and tinkering with strange sounds to get the mood right. This record is certainly a labour of love. The album as a whole is a great package. The cover art is simple and unpretentious, which I think represents the project pretty well. Nothing is over thought and over produced.
I’m keeping my eye out for a show from these guys ‘cause I would love to see what they can produce live.
— Christian Bolland