Living in Portland with her beloved husband, Jay, Rachel makes sometimes disturbing yet ultimately sensible songs, mostly on the piano.
She used to get out a lot more but worried frequently about going crazy, had a nervous breakdown and was a hermit for about 8 years, during which she wrote a lot. She writes a lot still.
Her music reflects a love/hate relationship with humanity and persistent awe at the beauty and horror in the world. Trying to capture that sweet and sour thing in a song is what she’s mostly trying to do.
Her new album, Falimy, will officially be released May 6, 2014. Falimy, World So Sweet and Songs Without a Home (a little extra clump of previously unrecorded songs) and her previous four records, Susan Storm’s Ugly Sister and Other Saints and Superheroes, Half Hours With the Lower Creatures, 7 Small Winter Songs, and Ormolu were all recorded in Portland, Oregon with audio midwife Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Menomena, Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus).
In addition to her own music she’s provided backup for a lot of Portland bands’ recordings and projects (Leigh Marble, hurtbird, Holcombe Waller). She’s a soprano veteran of Portland classical groups Cappella Romana, Portland Baroque Orchestra and Trinity Consort, and Seattle’s Tudor Choir.
She’s been featured on NPR, Fluxblog and in the unusual and critically praised music compendium by the late Scott Miller, Music: What Happened?
Rachel was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.
“Rachel Taylor Brown: another great unknown.”
(Bob Boilen, NPR)
“Brown has a gift for channeling her inner demons into a mesmerizing world of sound”
(Robin Hilton, NPR)
“The brilliance of her music is that piano-based songwriting can often times be formulaic, trite and uninspiring, and what she has done for four consecutive albums is anything but. Her music is daring, fearless and chilling, and even sometimes catchy. A cerebral, free-thinking talent that isn’t afraid to take chances and stir things up a bit. Somewhere, somehow John Lennon is smiling.”
(Gregory Robson, Absolute Punk)
“She is a visionary and a true artist”
(Jordan Blum, Delusions of Adequacy)
“Unfaltering and brave”
(Jedd Beaudoin, Popmatters)
“For those who like their music to challenge their ears, hearts and minds, Rachel Taylor Brown remains a seemingly inexhaustible resource.”
(Casey Jarman, Willamette Week)
“A songwriter and performer who has reached a level few will”
(Zaph Mann, OPB)
“This is art as hard—and ultimately rewarding—as life itself.”
(Jeff Rosenberg, Willamette Week)