Every so often a young female vocalist comes along and seduces us with her allure, facilitated by a soothing sultry sound of a siren. In this new era of musical intonation, Arum Rae Valkonen mesmerizes us with her ability to entrance us under a deep spell of meteoric proportions. Fluctuating melodies elevate the listener to Heaven, then plummet, mystify, and ultimately vanquish the unsuspecting floating fan as he falls to the depths of No Solid State. Invigorated by a Nordic strength in her bloodline, yet matched by the tenderness in her name (which means Water Lily in Latin): revolutionary passion to explore endless ranges of sound prevails. Arum accomplishes a wider range of sound and feel with a bare cast of personnel. Whether a solo act, two-piece, or full band, Rae melts the room with sonorous lava, leaving no soul untapped, no heart untouched.
Born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO by her mother and older brother, Arum now considers Virginia home, though in spirit she truly inhabits the wind. A deep sense of empathy and appreciation of Native American culture arouse her grounded sense of survival in the moment—a profound experience to witness. Rae began singing at the age of 4, in private school. Most notably, her maturity draws from a kaleidoscopic exposure to polarizing perspectives of morality from the stark dichotomy of a pre-millenialist father, dramatically tempered by a stepfather who owned an outlet serving the obscene interests of the prurient public. Over the years, she’s lyrically drawn inspiration from everyone ranging from Bob Dylan to Jay-Z, while her singing reflects the resurrected soulful warmth of her predecessors. In her own way, she’s drawn from a lifetime of perspicacity, projecting a zeal and celestial fuel from the fires of faith and trepidation. Songs like Wearing Red conjure a subtle complexity, revealing at once a deeper insight into Rae’s fervent mischief, while also symbolizing her life force.
Thus far, Arum has consistently enjoyed resounding feedback from fans throughout the country: a pattern of reciprocation and emotional gratitude at each and every performance. Perpetually challenging herself, she has reinvented an evolving career on her own shoulders entirely. Armed with education, she has aptly applied herself as needed. Now, she’s able and willing to concoct a soul & dance revival, which delicately plays all over the full sonic spectrum.
Rae has worked with everyone from the Black Keys, Peter Bjorn & John, Gary Clark Jr., and The Civil Wars, but she is now primed to take command of her own destiny. As the writer from Daytrotter Live so succinctly states about Rae, “this is the scene of the mental bloodbath. She wins. Rae sings, "He doesn't want me/He's just in it for the kill," cutting a line that smokes out of the speaker, along with the kind of kick ass garage-rock blues that Jack White would drop a jaw around." As an optimist at heart, she nonetheless feels empowered and mobilized by the gravity of the dark side, through which she’s not only persevered, but, more importantly, serves as a vessel of what we’ve all endured in this condition called LIFE.