Urgency is a friend to Rae Fitzgerald. While much of contemporary music shies away from emotionality and embraces a cool detachment, this 27 year-old’s intricate lyric-work forces the listener to embrace universal emotions of sorrow, hope and bewildered wonder.
Born south of St. Louis and raised in the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama, Fitzgerald has honed her craft in iconic cities of musical innovation. She’s spent extended periods of time in Bakersfield, CA and Austin, TX, though she considers Columbia, MO home.
Lyrically heavy, the crux of Fitzgerald’s work is the autobiographical depiction of life changing situations, relationships and observations. This creative writing major’s words are heavy-hitting—a strength she accentuates with dreamy vocals, ethereal melodies and grooving beats.
Upcoming release, Popular Songs for Wholesome Families, shifts away from the sparsely decorated acoustic instrumentation of previous albums and lands her in the thick of dream-folk/progressive indie-rock territory.
Utilizing a broad palate of sounds, Popular Songs ranges from electronic anthems of loss to upbeat folk songs that depict a range of musings on religion, mortality, the American plight and, as the title suggests, the ties that bind. The album is purposefully littered with glimpses into her familial life, and the self-described “fantastical historian” doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects.
Despite her tendency to capitalize on somber material, Rae Fitzgerald is master of the silver lining. Each loss is almost equally matched with a gained insight, evolved perspective or cathartic exorcism. The indomitable spirit present in her work is what gives the seasoned singer-songwriter the freedom to sing, almost as if a mantra, “sorrow is a juggernaut.”
Popular Songs was recorded, mixed and produced by her longtime collaborator and close friend Lucas Oswald of Shearwater (formerly of Appleseed Cast, Minus Story, Hospital Ships and Old Canes). He plays a variety of instruments throughout the record, adding a distinct flair that’s become a calling card for the gifted young producer.