Sometimes it’s the small gestures in music that convey the greatest insight. There’s ample proof in the singing and songwriting of WNXP’s Nashville Artist of the Month for February, Erin Rae. The singer-songwriter started life in Jackson, taking in her parents’ easy harmonizing at home, then cut short her college studies to focus on voice and guitar lessons and open mics in Nashville. Over time, she cultivated her own sumptuously subtle sensibilities, found peers in Nashville’s youthful yet serious-minded singer-songwriter scene and started self-releasing projects that quietly turned heads in the early 2010s.
Her 2018 album, Putting On Airs, reached an international folk audience, and her latest, Lighten Up, recorded in Topanga Canyon with Jonathan Wilson producing, reflects the continual elevation of her craft. The ripples on the surface of Rae’s new compositions draw our attention toward inquiries deep beneath the surface, and her silvery vocals undulate across a pastoral, western expanse of guitar, piano and symphonic waves of steel and strings.