RACHEL RIES, hailing from the prairies of middle America, crafts sly and compassionate songs for the crooked hearted. With an electric guitar and piano; a clear voice and steady hand; she deftly pulls listeners in with disarming candor and keeps them there with smart and tender poetry. This March Ries will release Cardinal; a handcrafted EP of songs written while on residency in France. For Rachel, each song is a key; a direction; a red-blooded essential for living – be it bravery, belief in one’s path or the bonds of family and blood. Each Cardinal is a limited edition linoleum block print, handmade by Rachel herself.
Recorded by the inimitable Jeremy Messersmith in Minneapolis, Cardinal is Rachel’s 2nd handcrafted EP and follows in the wake of Ghost of a Gardener (2014). A well-lauded, ambitious album, Ghost features a duet with Gregory Alan Isakov and cameos by Devon Sproule, Carrie Elkin, Danny Schmidt and others. Many may know Rachel by her longstanding collaborations with Anaïs Mitchell and their country ep (2008).
Proudly carrying the torch of her love for the domestic arts, Rachel’s homemade preserves and hand-stitched notebooks can often be found at shows, nestled amid the 180 gram vinyl, cds and t-shirts. If you need comparisons, think Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Jeff Buckley. If you don’t – just listen.
Beginning with minimal guitar and sweet but melancholy tunes Sarah Berresford, better known as OH SISTER has been writing songs for as long as she can remember. After gigging extensively on the London circuit, she has recorded her first EP and has pieced together a band to find an understated but expressive sound. This self inflicted, widespread gigging has lead to favourable nods from Communion and The Independent.
‘just by watching her play, you can tell what a dedicated artist she is…she plays as if there is no one else on the room’ – the independent.
‘just a girl with a guitar in a quiet room, but what a performance’ – communion blog