Erin Rae Takes ‘Lighten Up’ On Her First Australian Tour

Cosmic country singer-songwriter Erin Rae has released her fourth single Cosmic Sigh – a cinematic pop swirl about making steady, hopeful change – off of her highly anticipated album Lighten Up, out now via Thirty Tigers/Cooking Vinyl Australia. The anticipated new album was produced by neo-psychedelic Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty) and features guests including Kevin Morby and Hand Habits. To celebrate the album’s release, Rae is in Australia for her first tour here, opening for Courtney Marie Andrews. Erin tells Hi Fi Way more about the album.

How is the build up to the release of your album Lighten Up?
It’s been really exciting. It feels like a few more folks are hearing it this time around, and I just feel really grateful for my team at 7s Management & Thirty Tigers for how it’s been rolling out, and of course all the folks who are listening and sending sweet messages, taking time to review it, etc. Feels like an exciting time, especially after the four years since the last record.

What was your reaction when you played it back for the first time?
Hearing each song back in the studio, it felt like I heard not only myself, but I heard the decisions I’d made leading up to recording affirmed. Like I had made some good steps and gotten to elevate my sound and discover more of what is possible sonically for the songs that I write.

How hard has the last 12-18 months been for you to make music and tour?
Touring was a bit bumpy to start last fall, I went out opening some shows for Dawes for most of the fall and two weeks in, the band got the virus and some shows needed to be postponed, but everyone worked quickly to get us back out there, and we were able to make up all the dates. It was wild not being able to really hang out in the crowd or with friends as much, that’s such a special part of tour! But I was glad to be out doing it nonetheless. Making music ended up being like, right on time, in a way. I had a batch of songs, but having the pressure relieved to adhere to a quick release schedule was helpful in the way that I got to take time finishing up songs and making sure I loved everything that would go on the record.

Has it been a bit weird to have the benefit of time to work on finishing your album?
No I loved it. If it were up to me there would never be a rush. I need to live and experience things in order to create things I feel passionate about.

Do you think your sound has changed much between albums?
There are some obvious sonic differences. Putting On Airs felt like an expansion from my first record Soon Enough, which was recorded in only three days with a live band. On Lighten Up, we recorded all the basic tracks live together, and went back and did overdubs over a ten day span. So there was room to explore and I think the result was even more of an expansion from Putting On Airs.

What are the go to albums that get you feeling inspired?
I always return to Feist, and these days Gene Clark’s solo records. Feist inspires me so much with her guitar playing and incorporation of art into her work.

Are there ideas or plans for more music this year?
I feel like as soon as the record came out on the fourth, I began scheming my next batch of songs. Still very much in the idea stages. More than anything I’m just looking forward to touring.

Are feeling more optimistic about more regular touring this year?
For sure! It’s happening.

What’s next for Erin Rae?
Just a busy year of touring and hopefully some more writing and collaboration.

What’s something that most fans wouldn’t know about your band?
I don’t have a set band right now! I’m just enjoying playing with different people and being flexible with the touring configurations, some solo, some duo, and most excitingly some full band touring!

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch Erin Rae on tour with Courtney Marie Andrews on the following dates. Tickets from Love Police…