Hailing from North Carolina, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Kiel has been sharing her music with the world for over a decade now, since debuting with the album Table Manners back in 2008. Following two further albums, 2012’s Television Waltz and 2017’s Shot From A Cannon, Rachel’s reputation has slowly built, garnering comparisons to the likes of Big Star and The Breeders along the way. Rachel’s latest album, Dream Logic, created in collaboration with acclaimed producer Jeff Crawford and featuring an all-star cast of backing musicians, is out later this month, and today we’re premiering the latest single from it, Ava Gardner.
As you would perhaps expect from the title, the song is at least partly inspired by Hollywood actress, Ava Gardner, as Rachel explains, “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“. It was only later in life that Rachel perhaps noticed the blueprint was perhaps more flawed than she initially realised, “what you dream of becoming and who you actually become have important overlap, but they’re not the same. I am not Ava Gardner. 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”.
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. Like all our greatest dreams, sometimes reality and hope don’t align, as Rachel herself notes, “there’s no synonym for ‘dream’, no other English word that encompasses all that it can”. In focusing in on all the desires, visions and ideas present in that single word, Rachel Kiel has found a new focus, and in doing so has made what’s shaping up to be the finest record of her career to date.
Dream Logic is out October 23rd. Click HERE for more information on Rachel Kiel.
2 thoughts on “[PREMIERE] Rachel Kiel – Ava Gardner”
Really appreciate the depth of this song. It takes bravery and openness to find these insights. A haunting and yet refreshing song