On Putting On Airs, Erin Rae hems a Laurel Canyon folk psychedelia through a Nashville seam with her timeless and restorative voice and smokey barroom instrumental backdrop.
Earlier this year, you released Putting On Airs, your newest and most impressive record. How had you changed as a songwriter, musician, and artist since your 2015 record Soon Enough?
Hopefully I’ve grown! I think this record is more introspective lyrically and sonically more exploratory.
Is songwriter something that's been an important part of your life? Has your interest always been in folk, singer-songwriter style material?
That’s what I grew up hearing my parents play, and what I heard around the house. When I started writing that’s what came First. All kinds of music influence me but that’s what comes out the easiest!
How long have you been in Nashville and how has your time there influenced your sound? Is the twangy history of the city a vital part of your musical foundation?
I grew up here, been here since the sixth grade. It’s the only community of music I know! My music isn’t twangy at all, but my early mentors were Kathy Mattea, a country musician, and Phoebe Binkley, our vocal coach, and the coach for many country artists like Ronnie Millsap, Crystal Gayle, Reese Witherspoon for her part in Walk The Line, and more. She also wrote songs for Marty Robbins. I felt connected to a long tradition of music through them before I was even really creating a ton of my own stuff.
How have you seen new artists adapting the "sound of Nashville?" Who are your most favorite people in the city?
The important thing to note is that there’s all kinds of music and not just country. There’s a strong hip-hop scene, there are so many pockets of all kinds of music. I don’t consider my music country. I love so many artists in Nashville, but I think the people that are helping make a difference are the writers like Marissa Moss & Ann Powers. They cover and share so many aspects of the scene, and aren’t afraid to uncover “controversies” in the music world. We need those voices.
The past two years have been a period of growth for you and your career; bigger stages, the new record, new followers of your project. As things start to build, does pursuing music and all that comes with it ever become overwhelming or a drag?
No, I have so much great support from my team and family and friends. If I was doing it on my own I’d sure feel overwhelmed. And sure I have moments, but they pass. Mostly just excited!
Recently, what moments have made you most confident and renewed your passion as a musician?
Hearing kind words from audience members after shows are always so encouraging. Support from fellow musicians means the most to me I think.
The last time I saw you in Charlotte, it was opening for Andrew Combs at the Evening Muse. Neighborhood Theatre is a bigger venue with a bigger stage. I'm excited for the July 31st show. Were you able to do anything interesting during your time in the city? Are there expectations good or bad about playing in Charlotte within your music community?
We just vintage shop and get coffee everywhere we go! And everyone loves North Carolina, we’re excited to get back!