Posts Tagged ‘Rachel (Ruggles)’

Gracie and Rachel, the collaborative duo of keyboardist Gracie Coates and violinist Rachel Ruggles, have been praised by NPR to “make unforgettable, surprising music.” The duo’s new album “Hello Weakness, You make Me Strong” explores the depths of their emotional states and the walls we build up inside ourselves. It’s music to excavate our inner fears and help us find the empowerment from within. It’s been quite a year. Putting out a record in the midst of the world being shut down wasn’t what we had in mind, but it certainly has made us stronger. Thank you to each and every person who poured their hearts into bringing ‘Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong’ to life with us. Thank you to our incredible label and management team who support this music with such fierce generosity. Mostly, thank YOU for taking our sounds into your sphere. 

Piano-violin duo with boundary issues. New album ‘Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong’ out on Righteous Babe Records.
Gracie and Rachel make unforgettable, surprising music.” –Bob Boilen/NPR Music

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Today we share a remix of our song “Speak” from our album ‘Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong,’ by the ever-talented Future Generations. Thanks, Eddie, for putting your sweet spin on our sounds.
Released February 26th, 2021

Written by Gracie and Rachel, Ariel Loh

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On first hearing the Gracie And Rachel song “Only a Child,” I was struck by the tension and the mystery, both musically and lyrically: “I’m moving my mouth but I don’t say a word/My ears are open but nothing is heard/I’m only a child, only a child.”

Gracie Coates, the primary singer and keyboard player, wrote and told me, “It was this notion of going in circles, trying to move forward but constantly feeling like I was right back where I’d started.” Along with Rachel Ruggles on a violin processed through various pedals, the two Berkeley California high school friends – now New York loft-mates – have made one of my favorite albums of 2017. Together with percussionist Richard Watts, a huge bass drum, and electronic drum pads, the group mixes classical training with pop hooks, and curiosity with uncertainty.

Gracie and Rachel are two high school friends from Berkeley, Calif. now making music as roommates in New York City. There’s a mix of classical and pop in their music, with Rachel Ruggles on her sonically-treated violin and Gracie Coates doing much of the lead singing and pop-leaning melodies on keyboards. And it’s that tension between styles that makes the songs on this album stand out.

The complex tunes they beautifully reproduced in this thrilling Tiny Desk performance are from the group’s debut, self-titled album released back in June of this year.

Set List

  • “Only A Child”
  • “Go”
  • “Don’t Know”

Musicians

Gracie Coates; Rachel Ruggles; Ricky Watts,

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In the case of New York based Gracie and Rachel, the duo originates from California, fusing the calmness of the Pacific with the chaos New York can imprint on a mind. Their latest video for the track “(Un)comfortable” is a melancholic black and white four minutes, driven by both rich, layered violins (provided by Rachel), and ethereal vocals. The video displays both Gracie and Rachel, but they are never acting together, essentially existing on different planes. It’s a needed look at coexisting, the act of being supportive but separate as well.

Regarding the video, Rachel added, “Gracie’s perpetual motions are shown as both fractions and extensions of herself that may want to hold her back but ultimately can propel her forward. Without tangibly interacting, the varying entities guide one another through the acceptance of different forces.” The two met at a dance class in high school, and this extra talent in their life shines through– their motions are effortless and poised, exactly what their music exudes.

Band Members
Gracie Coates (lead vocals, piano),
Rachel Ruggles (violin, vocals)
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Gracie and Rachel are a study in duality: light and dark, classical training with a pop sensibility, Californians in Brooklyn New York. Their music pits anxiety and tension against an almost serene self-assurance. The result is a compelling juxtaposition of Gracie’s piano and lead vocals and Rachel’s violin and voice, augmented with stark percussion. Though they make music as a duo, Gracie and Rachel together far exceed the sum of their parts. Like their stylized color palette of black and white, their instrumentation appears simple and spare at first glance, but there’s a powerful prism effect at work that brings us back to the concept of duality: their songs are intimate and expansive, questioning and confident.
The nine orchestral-pop songs on Gracie and Rachel tell a story that’s rooted in the truth —their truth — but retain an enigmatic air that makes them relatable to anyone who has ever found their heart racing with doubt and pushed forward regardless. Their journey through adventurous youth and cohabitation is evident on their self-titled debut full length set for release on June 23rd.

Image may contain: 2 people, close-up

Gracie and Rachel are a study in duality: light and dark, classical training with a pop sensibility, Californians in New York. Their music pits anxiety and tension against an almost serene self-assurance on their self-titled debut, and their live show is equal parts fierce drama and delicate intimacy. In case you missed it, we recently released a music video for the last song on our record, “Don’t Know,” a piece that asks us to put down our phones and wake up to the surveillance state, making our first encounter with color as we escape to mother nature. The artists describe the track as “a song of empowerment and an urgency to fight back from being controlled,” sentiments that have never been more front-and-center than they are now. With “Don’t Know”, Gracie and Rachel voice concerns relevant to an entire generation.

Their music is a compelling juxtaposition of Gracie’s piano and lead vocals and Rachel’s violin and voice, augmented with stark percussion. The nine orchestral-pop songs on Gracie and Rachel tell a story that’s rooted in the truth —their truth — but retain an enigmatic air that makes them relatable to anyone who has ever found their heart racing with doubt and pushed forward regardless, or triumphed in subverting expectations imposed from without.

“I think that’s representative of how I feel as a human being, of how Rachel feels,” Gracie says. “It is our story, but we’re working to express a duality that’s open to everyone.”

“Innovative beautiful music. Passionate devotion to honest storytelling. Eminently stimulating to listen to.”