Artist, athlete and activist Rachel Garlin will release The State That We Are In on June 25th. Produced by Jonny Flaugher (The Weepies, Dan Bern, Joshua Radin), the EP includes four originals and a singular version of Clapton’s classic “Layla.” Garlin recorded The State That We Are In in remote collaboration with producer and bassist Flaugher, drummer Michael Jermone (Better than Ezra), and flute player David Ralicke (Beck) among others; the EP was mixed remotely with Veronica Ferarro (Emily Saliers) in Paris.
The State That We Are In is the follow up to Garlin’s 2020 LP, Mondegreens. Garlin wrote the title track for The State That We Are In in the weeks leading up to the election when her songwriting naturally flowed toward topics like voting justice and climate change. “I wrote it in solidarity with everyone who’s been pushing for change while trying to stay balanced during the difficulty of the pandemic,” says Garlin.
“Toward the end of the song, there’s a reference to Vice President Kamala Harris’s ‘I’m speaking’ refrain from the debate: ‘we’re not tired, we’re not despairing, not resigned / we’re not counting on the roof to fix the leak… and we are, we are, we are gonna speak.’ The song is a reminder that we’re not stuck in the state that we’re in. It’s temporary, and we can actively affect the next state that we create. Music can be a part of that.”
Bay Area filmmaker Dan Foldes directed the video for the title track, which follows Garlin through urban and rustic landscapes in her hometown of San Francisco.
A lifelong athlete and former Division 1 basketball player at Harvard, Garlin stepped up to a new challenge this year by competing in Season 13 of the NBC sports show American Ninja Warrior. The obstacle course show asks athletes to perform various stunts while activating strength, agility and a sense of balance. Learning the sport for the first time this season, Garlin realized it requires a lot of the same skills needed to be an indie musician — flexibility, improvisation, resilience and a sense of adventure.
These same skills also apply to Garlin’s activist work in San Francisco where she spent the quarantine cultivating poetry, social action, and compassion in her community. Mentoring young songwriters at Sunset Youth Services and performing regular Sidewalk Sessions (playing music from the edge of her garage alongside neighbors, friends and her own wife and three kids) she caught the attention of the Chronicle and former Rolling Stone editor, Ben Fong-Torres on his MoonAlice radio station.
With her vintage Gibson J50 guitar, Rachel devoted the month of February to writing a new song each day and sharing the creative process–spontaneous and vulnerable—during an interactive process with fans across the country. She now hosts a weekly livestream concert called Swing & Release (Wednesdays at 4pm PT) where she weaves together songs and stories related to her work as an artist, athlete and activist in her own community and beyond.
Don’t miss Rachel:
June 20th – Burren Pub – Sommerville, MA
July 2nd – Blueberry Hill – Goshen, VT
July 29th – Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 – New York, NY