To listen to a Rachel Efron song is to be led across an inner-landscape at once beautiful, dangerous, serene, and startling. Rachel offers that rare combination of sophisticated musicianship and commanding lyricism. There is a delicacy and astuteness to her perspective on the world, and she possesses that most precious and rare artistic quality of being able to honestly share herself with her listeners. She is versed in classical, jazz, folk, and pop music, and travels unabashedly between the soulful and sweet, saucy and swinging, by way of her alternately sincere and comically cynical portraits of life and love.
Rachel's released her debut album, "Say Goodbye," in 2006, to unbridled praise from listeners and critics alike. Nate Seltenrich of the East Bay Express described it as, "Utterly laid-back piano pop that sucks the tension right out of the room. Efron makes it sound easy but there's a reason so few artists get it right." Chris Patrick Morgan of the San Francisco Examiner commented, "Rachel Efron combines a light, gentle touch on the piano with the eye and the voice of a poet to make some of the loveliest music one has heard-soft, intimate, ethereal, and strikingly genuine." The album is a collection of 11 original piano/voice-centric alternative/pop songs, produced by the masterful Jon Evans, bassist for Tori Amos, and featuring inspired performances by Evans on bass, Scott Amendola (Nels Cline, Madeleine Peyroux) on drums, and Julie Wolf (Ani Difranco, Erin McKeown) on accordion.
Rachel spent the next years realizing a wealth of new material and performing on both the East Coast and the West Coast. In 2008 she returned to the studio for a second collaboration with Jon Evans, and the result is her new release, "4AM"-an album that maintains the sincerity of her debut, but which possesses the integrity and confidence of a singer/songwriter with a matured sense of herself and her craft. The first track, "Crescent Moon," is sonically ethereal, and invites the listener to begin what promises to be a lovely and complex journey ("I could show you these maple trees naked in the cold / And I would give to you green and blue stories I have told"). In another standout, "Dance Me Around My Room," Rachel hones in on her preferred genre of the spooky waltz? Seductive and melodically intense, the song recounts the unbearable juxtaposition of love and alienation in physical intimacy ("I'm alive here for you now / Choose or deny me / If the motions of love are to much to presume well / Just dance me around my room"). The title track, "Four In The Morning," closes the album as an epic anthem about leaving the thing you most long for in hopes of finding something better ("You can have your heartache with your gin / And you can taste the sweetness of the freedom that you win / Drink it in").
Rachel grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine called Cape Elizabeth-where she took piano lessons, learning the Beethoven Sonatas, Debussy Preludes, and Chopin Etudes that to this day remain, perhaps, her biggest musical influence. In high school she was entranced with singer/songwriters-Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, and Joni Mitchell, to name a few-but it had not yet occurred to her to try her own hand at writing songs. Away at college at Harvard University, Rachel complimented her major in Social Anthropology with a growing seriousness about her music. She took classical music classes, not to mention a handful of poetry and creative writing classes, and once a week made her way across the Charles River to study jazz piano with a professor of music at the Berklee College of Music. In her senior year of college, Rachel finally married her two great loves of music and language and wrote her first song. She scoured the songbooks of Tom Waits, Beth Orton, and Aimee Mann, alongside her deepening engagement in jazz and the work of Billie Holiday, Herbie Hancock, and Brad Mehldau, developed a repertoire of original songs, and started performing.
Upon graduating, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has been writing, performing, and recording ever since. She performs frequently, both solo and with her ensemble (Jon Arkin on drums and Dan Feizsli on bass). She has performed at premier venues, including the Independent (SF), Cafe Du Nord (SF), the Freight and Salvage (Berkeley), The Living Room (NYC), and the Rockwood Music Hall (NYC), and has shared the stage with such national acts as Spencer Day, Jill Sobule, and Sara Bareilles. Her shows and recordings have garnered coverage in Bay Area publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the San Francisco Examiner, the Oakland Tribune, and the East Bay Express, and her songs have aired on numerous Bay Area radio stations.