The seeds of Van Plating, the new recording project of songwriter Rachel Plating and writing partner Bradley Walden, may have been sewn upon birth, but not until being thrown through the gauntlet of human experience and tragedy was Plating able to harness the bittersweet tumult that is her eponymous debut album, which will be self-released on November 15th.
This record comes directly out of a nine year break from her musical pursuits and a period not only blessed with giving birth to and raising four children with her husband, but also two miscarriages and the harrowing experience of having to say goodbye to her children prior to an extremely risky surgery (of which the outcome was uncertain). Despite the never-lessening load that falls into the laps of any parent on a daily basis, Plating gave into her ever-growing compulsion and passion to create music after admitting to herself, “If I’m not playing music somewhere, I’m shriveling up and dying.” While consulting with a vocal coach, Walden, she agreed to take a shot at writing songs together. Soon after allowing their alchemy to do its work, the duo linked up with producer/mixer Courtney Ballard to produce Plating’s impassioned and eclectic debut album. Though singer-songwriters are currently having another moment in the culture, Plating brings the urbane wisdom of experience to not only her insightful lyrics, but – in tandem with Walden – also lets that quality seep into her songwriting, never content to play it safe or follow the trendier musical byways.
What this album amounts to is a stunning celebration of love, marriage, and life like the music world gets far too scarcely. Van Plating is an album that saps whatever mundanity the zeitgeist has injected into adult life, and replaces it with a vitality and excitement that too few imagine their domestic-years will hold. Plating has managed successfully to find her muse again and has admirably succeeded in marrying all the experience of her time off into a rousing and heartbreaking debut album, sure to find itself in heavy rotation in the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to hear it.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Lasso”, one of the standout tunes on the new album. With its mix of modern R&B and piano-driven pop, the song begins with Plating putting her vocals on display with minimal instrumentation. While not overly cheesy and hook-driven, the song balances a more natural inclination towards songwriting and songcraft while also coming across as a song that could easily translate to mainstream radio. Maybe mainstream radio needs more Van Plating? The duo brings to mind the more thoughtful pop music of the 90s and early 00s before marketing executives hellbent on streaming singles pulled the soul out of music with formulaic pop.
Listen to the tune and hear Rachel’s own take on the tune below…
“When we were working through the initial draft of ‘Lasso,’ I was going through a tumultuous time at work and at home. One day, as I was sitting at the piano and working out the lyric, this image from my childhood rose up into my mind and I was stunned by how much it related to my life 20 something years later. I was probably 11 or 12, and back then my parents always had the news going at our house. I remember coming home from playing at a friend’s house or something, and on the news there was this flood happening somewhere in the midwest. A horrible flood was happening in this little town, and there was a horse trapped in the flood and a whole crew of rescue workers and townspeople were trying to save it. Helicopters, the whole thing. It went on for hours. I was so young, but I was already well aware that life was hard and painful, just as much as it is beautiful. I was still a kid, and couldn’t put the words to how I was feeling. I felt lost and like I didn’t fit anywhere, and I was struggling against all the things that didn’t seem to fit together in this life. All I saw were jagged pieces. And I saw that horse struggling to survive. And I realized– that’s all of us. They actually ended up using a lasso to guide the horse to the shoreline.
I want the listener to hear my songs and feel seen. I hope these songs take them to a place, a moment, or a memory that they connect with and have that connection burn the melody into their hearts and minds. I want the listener to know they’re not alone in their everyday life. That their ‘one wild and precious life’ is right here and now and I hope these songs (written by a Florida mom of 4) show them that living out their ordinary life is absolutely stunning. And that the real bravery is in living honestly, freely and openly. And they’re already doing it, just by being alive. I hope that these songs give a voice to those who maybe don’t feel seen, and that they connect with the moments in these songs, and that it helps them somehow. Maybe it’s a lot to ask of ten songs, but that’s my hope!
We intentionally kept the production stripped down, so the focus would be on the vocal and the lyric. I didn’t want anything standing in between the listener and the songs. No distractions. No wild vocal effects. No worrying about genre or trying to fit into any specific category. The songs were the point – the song and the vocals. Everything had to serve the melody, or it got thrown out. And each song is its own world… its own ecosystem. All of that was intentional. The same with the writing. Bradley and I wrote 30-40 different roughs, and when we’d get to a batch of a few, we’d slash and burn the ones that didn’t get us excited. The musicians brought such good energy to each of their performances that my job as a singer was easy. They built the world the songs live in and without them it wouldn’t fly like it does. I’m so grateful for those guys. Courtney is so creative and incredibly good at hearing where a song can go and he just works organically to find the perfect vibe to fit the lyrics and the melody over. It’s an honest record. I hope it finds its people!”
Van Plating is out November 15 and will be self-released.
Photo by Scout Hunt