In July, the folk-leaning sextet Delta Rae announced their departure from Big Machine Label Group, an event that happened to coincide with the label’s sale to Scooter Braun and Taylor Swift’s subsequent criticism of the deal. As a side effect, Delta Rae’s Kickstarter was quickly funded beyond their wildest dreams by longtime fans and new supporters alike — resources they used to record their upcoming independent album, The Light.
Set for release on March 20th (as the band stated back in July), The Light will see Delta Rae branching out sonically and exploring many different creative avenues.
“We’re taking every joyful risk we might have been talked out of in the past, feeling liberated and hopeful about a whole new chapter powered by our fans,” said the band, whose members include siblings Ian, Eric, and Brittany Hölljes, Liz Hopkins, Mike McKee, and Grant Emerson, in a statement.
This is exemplified in the album’s first release “Take Me There,” which mutates from a cascading opening piano figure into an uplifting hymn with disco-fied guitar stabs that evoke Madonna circa “Like a Prayer.” “Hold me like you want me,” sings Hopkins, one of the group’s four lead vocalists. “I’m all yours, just show me that you want me.” It’s a shift from the Southern gothic atmosphere of Delta Rae’s “Bottom of the River” that shows a band refusing to rest or repeat.
The group also notes the presence of a wide array of musical instruments — French horn, harmonium, gospel singers, flute, augmented drum kits, tuned gongs, and layered string quartets. “Musically we chased inspiration instead of trends, and we didn’t hold back,” they added, noting that every song on The Light “corresponds with a card from the Major Arcana of the Tarot.”
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Following the release of The Light, Delta Rae will mount a brief tour of the Eastern U.S., visiting Philadelphia and New York among other cities. A companion album to The Light, titled The Dark, is planned as a follow-up but no release date has been set.
Delta Rae tour dates:
April 9 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
April 10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
April 11 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
April 16 – Concord, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Stage
April 17 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
April 18 – Boston, MA @ The Royale
April 21 – Hartford, CT @ Infinity Hall
April 25 – Atlanta, GA @ Sweetwater Festival