With powerful melody and strong, anthemic voice, Carolee Rainey’s Feel Fearless EP offers a positive and life-affirming message. Exuberant and joyful, Rainey gives folk rock a jubilant spin.
Evoking comparisons with Stevie Nicks and Ricki Lee Jones, Rainey is nothing if not uplifting. The songs on her potent debut mini-album reflect inspirational and empowering messages lyrically, while the music is solid, strongly singable, and will delightfully lodge in listeners internal musical repertoire for a long time.
Philosophically, Rainey says she views life as a journey – “get on the train and ride with me…got a lot of room for my new audience…you on board?” She asks that listeners tune in to her songs because “they’ve got life, wisdom and lightness even if they can get rather lonely and dark. What can you do? We all live in our private villages.”
All the same, Rainey, who has worked as a visual artist as well as a singer-songwriter and exhilarating performer, knows how to connect her audience and with it. Take in the gypsy-like joy in “Mystic Rose,” or the spiritual bliss in “Listen to the River,” and any personal inclination toward isolation will dissolve in the infectious pleasure that Rainey clearly takes in her work. The latter tune, inspired by a location in Big Sur, Calif. that has captivated the artist, has a definite LA-vibe. The now East Coast-based musician says “My heart may be in winter, but my soul is in the sun,” a sentiment that comes through vibrantly in this cut. Her song “Feel” is equally emotional, cutting to the quick of both loss and joy.
The mini-album’s first single, “Deal with the Devil” is the most rock-like tune; but the over-riding theme of the record is simply to create work that is both positive and thoughtful while being musically fun.
Tight backing musicians create compulsively listenable support to Rainey, including Doug Yowell, Richard Hammond, Thad DeBrock, and Clifford Carter on acoustic piano and keys.
Rainey says she was inspired to cut her record while attending a Rickie Lee Jones concert. Working as a painter, she found that “virtually one day, I just didn’t have the calling to wake up and create from a blank canvas…it was a transformation that was filled with angst about what my next creative endeavor would be…” until she attended the concert. She found Jones’ performance galvanizing, and immediately began to write her own songs. “It was the next stop on the train for me,” she says.
Get on board with Rainey’s “tracks” and see where her journey takes you. The EP drops the end of April. Follow Rainey on Facebook
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– Genie Davis; photos via Carolee Rainey music