By Denver-Rose Harmon, Staff Writer
Rae Isla has once again delivered a psychedelic Americana song that takes the listener to another world. Isla was kind enough to give Country Queer readers exclusive access to the new single “Free”.
If this record is any indication, the full length album, “Another Life”, coming out May 7th, is shaping up to be a dreamy drive down a desert backroad.
Isla has a fun tendency to make music that is at one moment acoustic, sweet and simple then the next moment surrounding you in sound. “Free” begins with a guitar accompanying sugary vocals and lyrics. By the chorus there’s a banjo, strings, harmonies, and drums. It absolutely explodes into atmospheric euphoria after she declares, “I’m free”.
I was so intrigued by Rae that I reached out with a few questions about the song.
“Free” is beautiful and really does evoke feelings of freedom through both the lyrics and musicality. Did you have any co-writers, and were you pretty hands-on with the production?
I wrote it alone on the same day as the song “Another Life.” They both started as a singular progression, then expanded onto two songs, ultimately becoming the thesis and the conclusion for the record. I recorded a demo that’s similar to the final product (not always the case, sometimes it’s just guitar/voice) then took it to my pal Garrett to make it complete. It must be mentioned that Garrett can play literally every instrument. The entire string section at the end, horns, cello, violin, and more, is him.
A lyric that really stuck out to me was, “Am I a woman or a man or on another level?” Do you identify with multiple genders as freely as this song suggests?
I definitely feel more than woman or man, but I don’t really identify as anything other than a person.
Can we expect these same psychedelic, care-free, Americana sounds from the rest of your upcoming album?
I understand that you’ve called Brooklyn, Seattle, and Mexico home. Have all these different places had much impact on your art?
Until recently, each city represented the central home of a different chapter of my life. Seattle, my childhood, New York, my discovery years, and CDMX, the present (I’m currently living here). My debut record captures all three periods. I wouldn’t be the songwriter I am without experiencing them all.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about “Free” or the upcoming album?
I just realized “Free” comes out two days before Earth Day, so please, to those who are reading, go out to nature, strip naked and run free through a field. Plant a tree. Be kind to others, yourself, and our Mother.
“Free” drops April 20th. You can pre-order Rae’s album, Another Life, on Bandcamp today.