CITY OF THE SUN @ UNION STAGE
with Gracie and Rachel
Songbyrd and Union Stage Present
DOORS: 7:00 PM // SHOW: 8:00 PM
ON SALE NOW!
Songbyrd and Union Stage Present @ Union Stage
Sunday April 7, 2019
Created in 2010, in the subways, streets, and local bars of New York City, City of the Sun has a distinctly eclectic sound—a mélange of flamenco,
blues, and indie/folk rock. The band’s influences include Rodrigo y Gabriela, Led Zeppelin, Al di Meola, Dave Matthews Band, David Broza, Pink Floyd,
John Mayer, Paco de Lucia, John Butler Trio, Jack Johnson, Bob Dylan, and Bon Iver. Their smooth tones are accompanied by technical flourishes that
only enhance the experience that fans have described as “tremendous”, “powerful”, “mesmerizing”, and “a re-invention of acoustic music.”
The band’s notable gigs include famed production Sleep No More, acclaimed Broadway show Once cast parties, the Mondrian Hotel, Milk Studios, the Double Seven, the Bowery Hotel, and Paul Rowland’s Ford Project Gallery. In early 2013 they supported rapper/poet K’naan on his nationwide U.S. tour, which included performances at the Highline Ballroom in New York, the Troubador in Los Angeles, the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hotel in Washington D.C., and Royale in Boston. Recently the band was invited to open for Chromeo and DJ Questlove at a Seeds of Peace charity event in NYC. They continue to record and develop their sound, building upon the guitar rhythm and riff foundation with vocals and electronic soundscapes.
Gracie and Rachel are a study in duality: light and dark, classical training with a pop sensibility, Californians in New York. Their music pits anxiety and tension against an almost serene self-assurance on their self-titled debut, and their live show is equal parts fierce drama and delicate intimacy.
Their music is a compelling juxtaposition of Gracie’s piano and lead vocals and Rachel’s violin and voice, augmented with stark percussion. The nine orchestral-pop songs on Gracie and Rachel tell a story that’s rooted in the truth —their truth — but retain an enigmatic air that makes them relatable to anyone who has ever found their heart racing with doubt and pushed forward regardless, or triumphed in subverting expectations imposed from without.
“We’re working to create unity through contrast, to express a duality that’s open to everyone," says Gracie.
Their story begins when they met in high school in Berkeley, California, in a dance class, and were assigned a musical collaboration that took hold. After attending music schools in different parts of the country, they moved to Brooklyn where they built out a loft space to be their studio and home. That’s where they started writing the songs on Gracie and Rachel, “living, working, breathing every moment together, and making music in that universe,” says Rachel.
Their close-quarters creative process lends a sense of urgency to their music that cascades through the rollercoaster arc of the album. Baeble Music hailed opener “Tiptoe,” with its eerie ghost tones and taut percussion, as “beautiful and unsettling,” a description that applies to the spacious piano and sympathetic violin on “(Un)comfortable,” or the hammering piano part on “Go,” all the way to the ringing vocals that build to a defiant crescendo on “Don’t Know” to close the record.
“We tiptoed into this not sure how to make our mark, and by the end of the album, hopefully, you’re feeling a lot more anger and confidence and empowerment,” Gracie says.
“It all comes from the intimacy of Gracie’s piano and voice and my violin and voice,” Rachel says, and it’s no accident that the effects are often physical. “We try to hone in on the body experience as well as the mind experience.