Sister Ivy (Partial Set) @ Asheville Music Hall 4-12-2018
Sister Ivy began in the summer of 2015, when on-again/off-again explorer of music, Rachel Waterhouse, decided that she couldn’t keep hiding skeletons of songs under her twin bed anymore. The decision arose when local reporter Carrie Eidson, booked her to play a Mountain express acoustic session at Sherwood Music in Asheville, NC. Rachel nervously dusted off two of the skeletons and scribbled a few charts so that guitarist Brian Kirk could understand them (kind of), and chose a name. But it wasn’t enough. There was so much more that could be done…with drums…with some low end…with the endless supply of song bones. She needed a band. So, with a few poorly made charts and quite a few more pipe dreams, Rachel set out to find collaborators to flesh out her dreams.
The going was tough…with complicated designs and limited experience, band leading was a difficult task. There were lessons that Rachel had skipped that she had to keep going back to pick up. There were mistakes made and multiple changes of members, but every change was a challenge to grow and get better at the work. New songs came, along with new inspirations and new influences, gifted by the exemplary collaborators that loaned their time and energy to the project. Beautiful and excellent musicians added to the tunes in turn…giving them skin, motor skills–a nervous system even. Rachel began to be more on music than not, day by day, as the project grew in complexity and depth, and Sister Ivy became a matter of utmost importance in her life.
Now, after nearly two and a half years of gestation, Sister Ivy is feeling rooted enough to release somewhat permanent interpretations of her music, in the form of recorded material. The EP, Plecia, recorded at El Rancho Morbido in Black Mountain in June and July of 2017 with guitarist Kayla Zuskin, bassist Brennan Dugan, and drummer Will Miller, will be released in March. The three-song EP features a fairly wide representation of the sounds Sister Ivy produces, from the neo-soul vibe of Dark Magic, to the highly jazz influenced track, Nu V.U., and the epic, free-verse poem that is Song of the Skeleton Woman. The single, Sepia Sun, recorded independently with current band members (Asher Hill on bass, Paul Gladstone on drums) and local trumpeter Alex Bradley, will be released in February, along with Sister Ivy’s first ever Music Video.
Sister Ivy fuses Neo-soul, Jazz, R&B, and Rock elements to carry poetic musings to the listener’s ear on a groove-able beat. Lyrical content spans a wide spectrum, emotional states ranging from sweet infatuation to righteous anger; content ranging from entomological curiosity to suspicions of an impending apocalypse. However, no matter how dim the story seems, there is always a glimmer of hope hidden…somewhere. The sonic vehicle on which the lyrics travel is twisted and expansive, with influences spanning from Badu and Glasper to Radiohead and Pink Floyd.
Listen at your own risk. Sister Ivy may attempt to challenge your core beliefs or (gasp) move your feet a little.