This Rock & Roller Packs a Wallop!
I’m not going to start this Tuesday Tune-Up off with “in an industry dominated by men,” or some other such nonsense. Women who are musicians don’t need me to patronize them and pat them on the head for being “good for a girl.” The fact is Spokane, my city, is packed with amazing musicians, and no small percentage of them are female, transgender, or questioning. Any qualifying statements when it comes to them are bullshit, and that’s about all the qualifying I’m going to do in this piece.
I think the subject of today’s post would appreciate that. Her name is Rachael Layne, and she’s about to become your new favorite singer.
Rachael and I have been good friends for well over a decade now. She’s married to longtime (but now former) Buffalo Jones bassist Glenn Case, with whom the band remains good friends. In that time, it’s been clear to me that Rachael’s voice is one of the best kept secrets in Spokane.
Every once in a while…
…a voice comes along that makes you shut up and pay attention. Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, Anne Wilson, Amy Lee, Janis Joplin – the list goes on. Rachael’s voice is one of those. I’m pretty sure the first time I heard her sing was the first of myriad times in which she joined Buffalo Jones on stage and sang “What’s Up?” by 4 Non-Blondes, and I gotta tell you, folks, when Rachael sings that song, everybody shuts up and listens.
Finally Stepping Out.
The shadow of Glenn Case, Rachael’s husband, is a rather large one from which to escape. Glenn is one of the most prolific songwriters I’ve ever met, and he never slows down. Not for a moment. Rachael and he have made music together before, but usually for Glenn’s projects. It thrills me to see Rachael stepping out on her own, now. She’s written some great tunes and is now releasing one per week digitally.
This is the song I was originally going to profile today. I still am, but I also learned that Rachael just released another new one today – which I got a sneak preview of yesterday – and so now we have to profile them both.
It’s a rocker, for sure. Its had a lot of comparisons thrown at it, from Nine Inch Nails to Joan Jett. As soon as I heard it, I threw it onto my workout playlist – and every time it comes on it gives me the push I need to bust out the last few reps!
Rachael decided to do the song as part of a competition called Nur Ein, which is an offshoot of the popular Songfight community. The idea is, you have a very limited amount of time in which to fully write and record a song from beginning to end. All of the songs are the same title, but they are all vastly different. It’s really a cool thing that I’d like to do soon.
“Shock Value specifically was a challenge,” Rachael told me, “because I was in another state writing it while Glen was [home]. We discussed over the phone what the music should sound like and I jotted down several ideas for the lyrics and arrangement.”Rachael Layne on the recording of her single, “Shock Value.”
She went on to say that the song was basically recorded in one day – which amazes me, considering what you hear when you listen to it. The song has a wonderful driving beat and dynamics that shift from soft to hard, and of course, Rachael’s voice is nothing short of spectacular. She’s one of the best screamers out there, though she can purdy-it-up when she needs to.
As for the content of the lyrics, Rachael says she had a lot of inspiration and help from one of her closest friends:
“My idea for the song was how shocking it is when women know their own value despite what society tries to place on us. It was fitting that I was visiting my friend Lindsey at the time who is a massive source of energy and empowerment for me to be around. She brings out the best in me most of the time.”Rachael Layne on the lyrics of “Shock Value”
More great stuff to come…
I’m over the moon that Rachael has decided to start her own musical adventure, and I can’t recommend her enough to y’all. She currently has a few tunes out, including Shock Value, a great goth-rock tune called “Color Me Dead” that was just released today, and another more poppy song called “Pump the Brakes.” Her songs can be found anywhere you listen to digital music, and she doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Check her out and support her here.