ACL Fest Interview: Erin Rae

“I’m hoping to move into a place where I’m not having to go into the depths of my soul, necessarily, to find inspiration.”

ACL Fest Interview: Erin Rae

Erin Rae's 2018 LP, Putting on Airs, swooned under the native Tennessean's breathy throwback pop, but the dreaminess of sound belied the heavy and complex narratives. "Bad Mind," about her aunt in Alabama losing custody of a child after being deemed unfit because of being gay, nevertheless lifts behind an airy intimacy. The album unfolds as brutal Southern tales gorgeously sung.

“Bad Mind,” about her aunt in Alabama losing custody of a child after being deemed unfit because of being gay, nevertheless lifts behind an airy intimacy.

"When I wrote 'Bad Mind,' I thought it might be too much, but with the arrangements that [co-producer] Jerry [Bernhardt] came up with and his expertise, I think the music helps balance out the intensity of the subject matter," she offers. "As time goes on and the conversations I have in response to that song [continue], it can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people. I think there's something to thinking things out loud, and there's a power in writing things down.

"I wanted to write these things down to just bring them into the light and continue to move past them or keep them prioritized."

As she's toured and gotten more comfortable performing the deeply personal songs onstage, her songwriting has begun to open up, as has her musical palette.

"I'm hopefully looking outward a little bit more now, and at how things that are going on in the outside world are mirrored within myself," she says. "I'm processing stuff, but I assume I'm also sharing the story of other people. I'm hoping to move into a place where I'm not having to go into the depths of my soul, necessarily, to find inspiration."


Erin Rae

Friday, 1pm, Tito’s stage (weekend one only)

Check out our daily ACL coverage with previews, reviews, interviews, photos, and more.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Doug Freeman
What We're Listening to This Week
What We're Listening to This Week
Otis Wilkins, Fuck Money, Cash Grab, Jake Lloyd, and more notable sounds

Aug. 12, 2022

Fifth Annual KOKEFEST Brings Clint Black and More to Hutto
Fifth Annual KOKEFEST Brings Clint Black and More to Hutto
Two-day lineup includes Turnpike Troubadours, Robert Earl Keen, Aaron Watson, and more

Aug. 5, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Erin Rae, ACL Fest 2019, Jerry Bernhardt

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle