Rachel Kiel has debuted a new single “Ava Gardner” ahead of her upcoming album Dream Logic co-produced by Jeff Crawford (Dead Tongues, Daughter of Swords, Skylar Gudasz) to be released October 23. For The Rabbits premiered the song, saying “Rachel sets her Ava Gardner dreams and doubts to a backing of warm burbling synths punctuated by bright bursts of piano, with her easy, poignant vocal delivery it comes across like the middle ground of Sinead O’Connor and Phoebe Bridgers.” With this surreal arrangement and arresting vocal control, Kiel explores how a childhood idol informed, confused, and challenged her concepts of beauty and fulfillment. Her intimate lyrics evoke the precious loneliness associated with youth, a vulnerability to unknown life ahead: I dreamed another body / I was angry / I didn’t know where time would take me. Doing what she does best, Kiel creates a dreamscape that feels poignantly like a listener’s own.
Kiel says: “Ava Gardner made a big impression on me as a kid—her beauty, talent, toughness, and her many intense relationships. Her experiences gave me some kind of blueprint for how to live, and especially, how to live as an artist, and a woman. But that blueprint had its flaws. Over time, I had to accept that maybe the type of relationship that seemed romantic was holding me back, that some of my ideas about my own body were restrictive and narrow, and some beliefs about success were warped, unhelpful.
What you dream of becoming and who you actually become have important overlap, but they’re not the same. I am not Ava Gardner. Though the core of my Ava Gardner dreams — a desire for beauty, love, creative power, and resilience — did, in essence, come true.”
Today’s release follows the infectious singles “Car Crash Dream” and “Late Night Drive.” Kiel co-produced her fourth studio album with Jeff Crawford (Dead Tongues, Big Star’s Third, Daughter of Swords, Skylar Gudasz). Dream Logic is a simmering blend of eclectic influences. Kiel has an indie pop sensibility invoking the likes of Arthur Russell, The Blue Nile, Flock of Dimes, or Wild Nothing, a shimmering shoegaze texture akin to Stereolab or The Breeders, and an early indie knack for hooks recalling Metric or Jenny Lewis. The album features notable guest players including Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Let’s Active), Chris Stamey (The dB’s), Robert Sledge (Ben Folds Five), Laura King (Bat Fangs). and more.