Rachael McElhiney – Apricot Trees EP 
Rachael McElhiney - Apricot Trees

Release Date: Out Now

There must be something in the water in Reno and something that a more cynical man would want to bottle. First came Failure Machine who are superb, then original frontman Spencer Kilpatrick did some equally impressive solo work and now Rachael McElhiney is stepping out from behind the mic and the sax to show us what she’s got. And she’s got the lot judging by this debut EP.

‘Apricot Trees’ opens up with ‘Liar’, a song that lilts with Sunday afternoon energy as a gentle ukulele strum provides the backing for McElhiney’s effortlessly soulful vocal to waft in on the summer’s breeze and settle on the front porch. As impressive an opening track as this is, however, all bets are off when track 2, ‘Grandpa’s Song’, rolls into town. With nothing but a steady handclap and her voice, McElhiney sings a Nina Simone-esque tale of the advice passed down in the generations such as “Always put pepper on your cantaloupe, always keep tabasco on your inside coat, don’t trust no double dirty dirty politicians cos they all just stealing without a gun”. It is a simply stunning and stunningly simple song that could have been found on a long-abandoned reel-to-reel but is also massively relevant and enjoyable in 2019.

‘Violet’ brings back that ukulele sway as we are reminded of the likes of Feist, Tennis and the gentler moments of Best Coast in some quiet corner of tranquillity that the world hasn’t ruined just yet. The EP closes out with ‘Quick Cuttin’ Hand’ which maintains the dusky mood with added baritone sax for added bluesyness. This is the kind of music that you just want to lose yourself in and once lost you won’t be in any rush to find your way back to the real world. Simply sublime.