Rachel Taylor Brown

Portland, Oregon singer, songwriter, and pianist Rachel Taylor Brown has a quirky alt-pop sound that merges a dark blend of chamber music with an almost glam-tinged arena rock ambience, all driven by eccentric lyrics that tackle difficult (and often unpleasant) subjects, leading one critic to label her style as "creep rock." Brown began playing piano by ear as a child, officially starting lessons on the instrument at six years old, but she always maintained a decidedly maverick approach to music, eventually earning a B.A. from the University of Oregon School of Music. She has sung for years in various classical ensembles, including Portland's Capella Romana, Trinity Consort, and Portland Baroque Orchestra, as well as Seattle's Tudor Choir, while still exercising her rock roots in a pair of bands with Chris Robley, the Sort Ofs and the Fear of Heights. Brown credits a nervous breakdown and the resulting eight years of relative solitude it took to recover from it as the impetus for her writing approach and style, which is as complex, haunting, and striking as it is demanding. Brown's first two albums were released on Shrewd Rube Records, 2001's Do Not Stare and 2005's Jonah Days, after which she moved to Cutthroat Pop and began working with producer Jeff Stuart Saltzman, resulting in 2006's acclaimed Ormolu, 2007's delightfully fractured holiday album 7 Small Winter Songs, and the ambitious Half Hours with the Lower Creatures, which appeared in 2008. Susan Storm's Ugly Sister and Other Saints and Superheroes followed a year later in 2009. Brown continued to follow her fascinating, quirky muse into the 21st century, releasing a pair of albums, Songs Without a Home and World So Sweet, in 2011, with Falimy arriving in 2014. ~ Steve Leggett

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