March 2, 2015
When it seems like the only female vocalists getting airplay right now are auto-tuned carbon copies of Rihanna; mousey-sounding hipster chicks, with their Julia Stone-esque strain; or a “feat” songstress on a mediocre Aussie hip-hop track, there’s a sense of relief when you finally come across a voice that commands your attention.
One such voice is that of Rachael Price, the sexy, songstress extraordinaire from Boston based jazz and soul quartet, Lake Street Dive. Born in Perth, Rachel grew up just outside of Nashville, Tennessee before moving to Boston where she trained as a jazz singer.
After achieving an “honourable mention” at the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition in 2003, and performing as the youngest-ever competitor at the Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition in 2004, she was handpicked by Minneapolis trumpet/guitar player (and class mate at the New England Conservatory in Boston), Mike Olson, to lead his little quartet, Lake Street Dive, to international stardom.
And that’s exactly what she did.
Along with fellow New England Conservatory grads – bassist Bridget Kearney, from Iowa, and drummer Mike Calabrese from Philly – the tight indie jazz and soul quartet has been performing together since 2004, but became an overnight YouTube sensation in 2012 for their raw, spine tingling, curb side rendition of “I Want You Back”.
The clips starts with four young musicians standing casually around a Shure SM53 mic on a Boston street corner – clicking their heels, laughing, joking, goofing around – average American college kids, about to go on mid-semester break.
But before you have time to tune out, in comes the smooth, deep bass line, instantly painting a picture of cool, with a familiarity you cant quite put your finger on.
And then she sings.
A deep, soulful, raspy voice, taking on the Jackson 5 classic like you’ve never heard it before – bright red lips punctuating every word, syllable and vowel with such exaggerated artistry and precision, you can’t help but be moved – like a child instinctively swaying to music for the very first time.
With three albums now under their belt, including the latest, Bad Self Portraits – released in 2013 under US indie label Signature Sounds – Lake Street Dive have spent the past two years touring the US and Europe and will soon delight Australian audiences on their first tour down-under this summer.
Catch them at the Opera Bar in Sydney, The Perth International Arts Festival, the Port Fairy Folk Festival, or at this year’s WOMADelaide!
For more information and complete tour details visit: www.lakestreetdive.com