Recorded in her hometown of Atlanta, the Brooklyn/East ATL-based Sara Rachele’s debut, Diamond Street, rides out slow and dark as a jet-black 1960s Chrysler New Yorker. The live-to-tape LP—produced by Kristofer Sampson (B-52’s, Balkans, Coathangers)—was recorded in just two days, and captures the East Village nightlife of a young songwriter in what Glide previously called “a timeless, vibrant rock ’n’ roll statement.” Diamond Street’s sparkling lo-fi charms span the decades, Rachele channeling everything from classic Fleetwood Mac and Petty’s Heartbreakers to Lucinda Williams and David Lynch muse Julee Cruise.
On recording with producer Sampson (who also plays in New West Records band Ponderosa), Rachele says, “Kris really challenged me on this album. Even though we were working quickly, he had patience with the songs, and he took the sound to a new place for me without it seeming disingenuous.” The results have landed Rachele in esteemed outlets like American Songwriter and No Depression, critics comparing her work to that of singular artists such as Neko Case, Stevie Nicks and gorgeously moody ‘90s alternative band Mazzy Star.
In addition to producer Sampson, Rachele’s new debut Diamond Street features the musical contributions of budding folk hound J. Thomas Hall (New West’s Normaltown Records imprint) as well as a cast of Atlanta-based heavy hitters including Lightnin’ Ray Jackson (Washed Out, Gringo Star), Spencer Pope (Ocha La Rocha), Spencer Garn (Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics) and Snowden’s Chandler Rentz. Diamond Street represents the gorgeous clash of Rachele’s folk-centric upbringing and her beat rock & roll adventures in New York City. With five years of stories under her belt, she has created a moody musical pulp, resounding with smoky memories of ambling city nights.
Glide is proud to premiere Sara Rachele’s video for “Black Mile,” a track that reflects Rachele’s aching vocals and sense of melodic virtuosity stirs immediate comparisons to Stevie Nicks’ most recognized ballads with Fleetwood Mac.
Rachele goes on to describe the track:
“Black Mile” is about loneliness—about those moments you’re thinking about mortality. I’ve always felt that those songs, about death, are the hardest to write, but the most comforting to listen to. It’s about accepting our fear of mortality—my friend Melissa Ferrick has a song where she just repeats, “The journey is the destination… the journey is the destination.”
There’s an old jazz song called “Black Nile,” and it got me thinking this concept of life as a journey, and death as a journey, too. I felt compelled to write a song about, and the guys in the studio really got into that vibe with me. The result was “Black Mile.” I wrote the song in one sitting… it kind of wrote me, in a way. Once we were in the studio, it all came together, really out of nowhere, as a full-band composition—the way Chandler Rentz played drums on it really stirs something in me every time I hear the song. He really made it my favorite song on Diamond Street.
At peace. That’s where this song puts me—in a conversational way, talking to death, addressing mortality and my own life each time I sing it… looking right down the barrel of the gun and saying, “I’m okay with whatever happens.” That’s the way I want to live my life; not in fear, but in communication with life itself. With acceptance.”