Erin Rae and the Meanwhiles at the Green Note
Erin Rae and the Meanwhiles, a relatively new act on the American roots music scene, heralding from Nashville, Tennessee, stopped by on Monday night at the Green Note club in Camden whilst on their first UK tour to sing a selection of songs taken from their 2012 EP, Crazy Talk, and their first studio album, Soon Enough.
The cosy, intimate setting, bathed in warm light, was ideal for the band’s summery, delicate brand of folk music, with its shades of country and blues. Erin Rae’s melodic voice, like a fresh breeze on a morning walk, soothed the onlookers in the small room with her intro song Owe You One. Attired in a long nightgown-looking dress that made one think of folk music singers of the 60s and 70s, she continued the evening with Minolta, a number named after the old vintage camera make, and Panic, a piece about the difficulties of love. The music has an old-fashioned feel and sounds decidedly American, which, however, did not seem to meet with objection from anyone in the audience, who were all swaying softly to each tune as if lying in a hammock.
The setlist betrays Rae’s youth in the choice of subject matter, such as the “coming-of-age” Monticello, or Soon Enough, all about hopes for the future and believing in yourself. That is not to say that their is any sign of immaturity. Her music is relatable to anyone at any age with its attractive arrangements, timeless themes and the singer’s tender, caressing vocals. The nostalgic air of the songs was typified by number Pretty Thing, inspired by Rae’s fascination with the Depression era. The EP title track Crazy Talk was apparently inspired by her work at a clinic for drug and alcohol abusers.
Despite such heavy subject matter, the group’s music is actually quite uplifting, and the audience declared their enthusiasm by cheering them back for an encore, which ended with one of the musician’s very first songs, I Hope You Get What You Need. Erin Rae, although perhaps not the most original voice out there in modern folk music, is still highly engaging and the whole act is beautiful in its simplicity. Only time will tell if her talent as a singer-songwriter is enough to propel her towards stardom; by what one can see here, there is great potential.
For further information about Erin Rae and the Meanwhiles and future events visit here:
Watch a video for Monticello here: