Here’s a song from San Francisco-based Rachel Garlin that jumps right in with a catchy melody and upbeat feel.
It’s “Gwendolyn Said” from her upcoming album Wink At July, due out April 21.
Garlin enlightens us on the lyrical direction, “Riding the public bus to high school, I used to read the billboards over my head that featured the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks. She was the one who reminded us to ‘exhaust the little moment, soon it dies.’ Years later, those words were spinning in my head as I wrote this song and wrote this album as a collection of snapshots in time, a collection of moments, lives, guitar licks, poems and bus rides..."
With Suzanne Vega and Joni Mitchell-like tinges, Garlin, spins out well-written lyrics set to shuffly, light accompaniment. It all makes for an enjoyable listen that bodes very well for the rest of the album. Can't wait to listen to more!
Check out "Gwendolyn Said" here:
Garlin’s character-filled songs have been recognized at festivals such as Kerrville, Telluride, and the South Florida Folk Festival, and she was honored with first place in the Newport Folk Festival Talent Search.
In its descriptive strength, Wink at July might be compared to a cherished book of vignettes, with musical arrangements ranging from solo vocals with acoustic guitar to a full electrified band. Garlin’s live show is similarly dynamic as she brings together a natural stage presence and the same folk, rock, pop and bluegrass sensibilities that can be heard on her recordings.
Wink at July takes us to varied settings (the isles of Scotland, the subways of New York, the hills of the Bay Area) and hosts a cast of characters with whom we relate in unexpected ways. Some of them are undoubtedly Garlin herself, the teacher-turned-troubadour who grew up in Berkeley and toured extensively while based in New York. Others are drawn from stories she has absorbed in her work as an educator and artist living in San Francisco with her wife and two young boys.
While touring with her first three albums, Garlin opened and then headlined in theaters and coffeehouses across America and Europe, including a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The momentum from Garlin’s touring life continued as she made the move to New York City to work with producer Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn, David Wilcox). Her fourth LP, Bound to be Mountains (2008) was featured in Performing Songwriter Magazine as a top-ten DIY album. It includes New York area musicians such as Tony Levin (John Lennon, Peter Gabriel).
Garlin recorded her April 2015 release Wink at July in San Francisco with producer JJ Wiesler (Matt Nathanson, Girls) and musicians Michael Urbano (John Hiatt, Smash Mouth), Prairie Prince
(Journey, The Tubes) and many others including Garlin’s longtime collaborators Julie Wolf and Jon Evans.
Garlin's songs have aired on Car Talk, Democracy Now, and radio stations throughout the country. Several of her songs have been picked up by indie films and one of her songs is in the full-length film Fuel.
Find out more at http://www.rachelgarlin.com/