It's always a good feeling as a publication when artists that you've been covering on the ground for years finally gain the national exposure that you know they deserve. Such was the feeling yesterday as I read through a great story on Miami's growing indie music scene by written by former Herald reporter, Evelyn McDonnell.
The lede to the story, and the main photograph as well were about our favorite local female troubadour, Rachel Goodrich, who we've covered aplenty in this rag before. She's the quirky, adorable, hard not to crush-on (whether you're a boy or a girl) 24-year-old singer/songwriter out of Miami that is in the process of making a big name for herself. That's evidenced by the solid New York Times piece, which you should read here.
Other local staples which are mentioned (most likely to their delight) include Sweat Records and it's co-owner, Lauren Reskin who gets quoted, Churchill's Pub, Jesse Jackson, Jacob Jeffries, Awesome New Republic, the Spam Allstars, Raffa & Rainer, the JeanMarie, the Down Home Southernaires, and a few more.
It's definitely a good nod toward the city's indie rock acts who often get overshadowed by the more popular electronic and hip-hop acts gaining international attention at the moment. After the jump, you can read a full review of Goodrich's debut album, Tinker Toys, which is available now where good music is sold.
All summer long, Miami's Rachel Goodrich promised that her album would be "coming soon!" In the meantime, fans who had begun to crush on the quirky 24-year-old sufficed by catching her increasingly crowded live shows and replaying the four non-downloadable offerings on her MySpace page. They hit the "play" button over and over again, like lab rats in some sort of addiction experiment: More, please!
With her CDs finally pressed (and the album available on iTunes), we can now do what everyone wants to do upon encountering this adorable homegrown troubadour: take a piece of her with us. Tinker Toys is an apt name for her disc; on it, Goodrich's Rickenbacker guitar and playful voice are matched by an equal dose of kazoos, chimes, whistles and trombones as if she's still giddy from having looted an instrument store.
Goodrich's sound (which she describes as "shake-a-billy") is characterized by catchy melodies, whimsical lyrics, and plenty of aural surprises. On "Terminal Song," for instance, the ukulele is just enough as Goodrich's voice gets twangy for only a fun second, and friends come in shouting "1!2!3!4!" exactly in the right place. Goodrich's charms are on full display again with the toe-tapping "Little Brass Bear," when she half-whispers and half-warbles just so. She's irresistible still on "The Black Hole," where her voice floats over a double-bass groove, with chimes in the background making twinkly, starry accents. The album's lone low point surfaces on the song "Piggy Bank," where the instrumentation comes off as circus-y and the words a tad too cute.
If Goodrich has a sad side, she doesn't share it here. There are no downers and in fact, almost every song is an ode to something she adores. On the rambling, rockabilly "Dope Song," Goodrich tells a guy to fork over his money so she can buy "a bag of bitchin' pot." During "Ukulele Water" (in her world, a totally drinkable potion) the tune sounds like a sparse and familiar Hawaiian classic - until the kazoo kicks in adding a sonic texture that only she could pull-off well. After the last song (the hummable "Light Bulb") has seemingly faded to an end, Goodrich treats us to a hidden track - a lo-fi ditty about jelly beans, the sound of crickets, and "opening up a new pack of mechanical pencils." The album itself is like each of the things she celebrates here-a small and endearing treasure. -- Deirdra Funcheon