Inspired by yoga and meditation, Dutch-American singer/songwriter Rachèl Louise intended to write an EP of "yoga pop music": zen-infused pop songs, aiming to make the world a little lighter. That intention backfired and Rachél ended up writing about four major problems: mental health, politics, religion and climate change.
Overwhelmed by the news and doomscrolling the internet, Rachél channelled her thoughts and feelings on topical issues into her songwriting, providing an outlet where her yoga and meditations weren't enough. Combining her personal experiences with the difficulties facing the global population everyday, Rachél formed her new EP, 'Popular Problems'.
“I worked on these songs with my good friend and producer Mark van Bruggen, who helped me tell my stories and fully supported me in being as honest as I could be. We worked at a tranquil farm studio, not too far from Amsterdam, where I felt like I could truly tune into what I needed to say.”
Rachél's Dutch roots enable her to channel the direct words needed to face up to the problems she wants to voice, while her Californian upbringing allow her to tell her story with empathy and heart. Packaged together with soulful melodies and heartfelt lyrics, she hopes her new EP will encourage others to share their human experience and connect so that we can all, possibly, feel a little lighter after all.
DOWN THE LINE
Where will we be in 20 years? Rachèl Louise fears the future more than she looks forward to it. How to decide on matters like having kids when our planet is crumbling at our feet? “Down The Line” speaks of staying in the moment and holding onto the love that you have, without having any answers to these difficult questions. Musically the Indian tanpura gives this minimalistic folk song a different sound than what you’re used to hearing. Let the intro take you into a crazy juxtaposition of eerie feelings and comfortable vibes.
Religion can have a big influence on someone's coming of age. Rachèl learned quickly in her twenties that the church had broken more than it had healed in her life. And Jesus had been a conflicted figure ever since she had parted ways with christianity. However after going through the ritual of ayahuasca, Rachèl made peace with Jesus during this trippy journey and was able to heal her relationship with him and all that he stands for.
SAD ON SAD
“Sad On Sad” speaks of trying ALL of the things to feel happy: yoga, meditation, a trip to Mexico, a drink on the beach with your friends. But having none of those things drown out the difficult thoughts and mental spirals you can fall into. And then beating yourself up about it on top of that, cause we really don’t have it that bad, do we?
As a Dutch/American woman, Rachèl sings to America from an inside and outside perspective. This acoustic folk song speaks of her growing up and believing in the American dream, only realising as an adult that that dream has been shattered in the last few years. While living in Amsterdam, she still holds The United States close to her heart and asks: “When is it safe to come home?”.