“It is such a pleasure to have Gracie and Rachel release their new album on Righteous Babe. Their ethereal and provocative songs are a cinematic addition to the RBR cadre of feminist artist/activists. They sing softly but carry a big stick.” — Ani
The intimacy of Gracie and Rachel — a Brooklyn-based duo bound in friendship and creative collaboration — resounds from their critically acclaimed albums: their self-titled debut, Gracie and Rachel, and their sophomore record, Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong, the latter of which was released on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records. It’s an effect Flaunt Magazine called “the epitome of harmonious duality" and by which Bob Boilen of NPR revered, “Gracie and Rachel are perfect musical mates.”
“For nine years, we lived together in our Brooklyn loft, working as a duo and evolving our sound, our relationship, our everything. The intertwined world we so deeply embedded ourselves in was all that we knew,” says Gracie.
Due to their intense closeness, moving into separate physical spaces was an essential – and in time, inspiring – event. In 2022, Rachel stayed in Brooklyn while Gracie moved to Upstate New York.
“It was an upending transformation in a multitude of ways, but the process of moving away from one another created more visibility to the power of our symbiosis. That we choose everyday to show up for one another, rather than us being in an imposed environment, is something we have found great inspiration in. We’re still on the same side even if we’re waving from across the room.”
Reassessing one’s identity in the wake of change is no uncommon trial. In fact, it’s particularly relatable in our modern day. When the context of our existence – career, relationship, location – shifts, who do we become? Gracie and Rachel accepted the challenge and emerged in a palpably fresh artistic phase.
On their upcoming EP Nowhere Now Here, distance does not render division, but rather, a rich new dynamic around connection and what it can look like in new iterations. Over the course of these six songs, the duo boasts an electric energy, blending their newly autonomous experiences with a nuance nearly chemical. The resulting sound is no less unified, but all the stronger – an affecting fusion, a fortified force.
“If we solely rely on others within a union, we will be two halves making a whole. But if we focus on our whole self rather than our half one, we only have that much more to give. Getting out of a codependent dynamic and into an interdependent one is where we have the ability to thrive.”
Gracie and Rachel are known for pressing back on the boundaries of pop music, their catalog marked by hauntingly spare arrangements, bold, baroque flourishes, evanescent vocal stylings, and penetrative lyrical tact. Nowhere Now Here honors these sonic elements and elevates them, a melodious new vigor coursing through the tracklist, the songs ranging from pointedly delicate to tenderly anthemic.
“The record is an exploration of ‘what if.’ What if we didn’t live together but collaborated from afar, what if we chose synthesizers over pianos, space over strings, to sing to each other rather than with one another. What if instead of being tightly wound, we were in fact just a bunch of loose knots. What if we had no hesitations about taking a chance on going somewhere new, and what if we also had no idea if we were guaranteed a seat at the table when we got there. What if we had no reservations… What if we were nowhere, now here…”
For Gracie and Rachel, separateness was the ultimate risk. But in their uniquely tethered form of brilliance, they embraced it together. Nowhere Now Here will be released May 19 on Righteous Babe Records.