Rachel Allyn is a very talented singer – songwriter from NJ. She recently released Next Year’s Girl, which is available on iTunes! We got the chance to interview Rachel about her music, performing, and what is next!
Check out our interview with Rachel!
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about your new album, Next Year’s Girl?
Rachel Allyn: Next Year’s Girl is an Americana EP, we just released it a little over a week ago! It’s got seven songs on it, six originals and one cover – “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, which was really fun to record. It’s full of rock and roll guitars, bluesy B3, and traditional pedal steel. There are a lot of influences going on. The big ones that I kept coming back to making this record were Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Kacey Musgraves, Jason Isbell, and the Rolling Stones. It’s got a lot of energy going on!
upfrontNY: What did you enjoy most about recording this album?
Rachel Allyn: We decided early on in the process of writing the songs for this record that we wanted to record them all live together in one room – which is how records used to be made all the time, but it happens more infrequently now and I had never gotten the chance to do it. So we booked three days at PonderRosa Studios in Lafayette, NJ and showed up without having rehearsed any of the music. We didn’t use a click track. We just all sat around, talked about the songs, bounced ideas off each other, and then played a couple takes til we got the one. Those were three of the best days of my life.
upfrontNY: Is there one song on the album that is your favorite?
Rachel Allyn: If I had to choose a favorite – and I do since you’re asking! – it would have to be “No Second Chances (Tennessee).” It’s the only slow song on the EP and it’s the only one I wrote alone. I went to college in Nashville and after graduating and moving back north, the plan was always to go back at some point. But things started moving up here and I fell in love here and before I knew it, a few years had gone by. This song was me coming to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to go back, at least not now, and realizing that dreams change and life happens and that’s all okay. I didn’t give up, I didn’t fail, I’m just going about things differently than I thought I would when I was 22. And I think that’s something that happens to a lot of people. It was a really important song for me to write for myself.
upfrontNY: You celebrated the release with a show at Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken. What’s the best part of having people come out and support you and your music?
Rachel Allyn: The release show was a complete blast. There’s nothing better than playing a full night of my own music, but that night was special. Most of the people there were family and friends, fans that have been around for years, and people who heard about me on the radio performing on NASH FM the day before the show and decided to come check me out. So everyone was there to hear the record, to let loose and listen to some music, and the energy level was pretty wild. I guess my favorite part was probably watching a few people who had gotten advance copies of the record, mainly some longtime fans and friends and Kickstarter backers, who already knew a bunch of the words. That was super cool.
upfrontNY: You have opened for so many great artists; do you have a favorite performing experience?
Rachel Allyn: I’d have to say opening for Brett Eldredge was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on stage. It was his debut CD release show, and I think everyone there knew he was just about to break big, and there was this sense in the room that everyone was seeing him in this relatively small venue, the Highline Ballroom in New York, right before he was going to blow up. It was an amazing night. And I can’t not mention sharing the stage with Kenny Rogers. The guy is a Country Music Hall of Famer and a living legend, so that was surreal and an honor.
upfrontNY: What venue or city is in on the top of your touring bucket list?
Rachel Allyn: I’d love to play in Europe someday. I hear they have a deep appreciation of Americana music, and I’ve never been there before, so that’s definitely on the bucket list. As far as a venue is concerned, my favorite place to see concerts is the Beacon Theatre in New York. It’s such an amazing space. I’ve seen two of my favorite concerts there, Elvis Costello and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, and the place blew my socks off both times. If I ever got to play there, I could die happy the moment my set was done.
upfrontNY: Summer is right around the corner. Do you have any exciting summer plans?
Rachel Allyn: We are going to be working so hard this summer promoting this record. Shows are starting to line up for the east coast and we’re working on some super exciting things that I unfortunately can’t announce yet. But the bottom line is, we’ll be playing and promoting up a storm!
upfrontNY: Is there anything you want others to know about you and your music?
Rachel Allyn: I want people to check it out and tell me what they think! I went through some pretty major voice problems in the past couple years and the fact that I was even able to make this record sometimes still amazes me. I’m so proud of it and I just want the whole world to get turned on to it! I’d say if you’re a fan of Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, Jason Isbell, or Ashely Monroe on the country side, or the rootsier stuff that the Stones and Tom Petty did, that my record would be worth the listen to you. I’d love it if everybody looked me up on social media, and definitely come out to a show!
– New York City –
Number 1 favorite thing about New York City- I’d have to say my favorite thing about NYC is the memories I have there. Is that lame? I had a life-changing moment at the Garden when Shania Twain pulled 14-year-old me up on stage to sing with her, my Pop-Pop hoisted me on his shoulders to catch a glimpse of Derek Jeter in the 1999 Yankees ticker tape parade, I’ve seen some of my favorite concerts there, I’ve seen the tree, I’ve been there when it was deathly hot and humid and unbearably cold and windy. It’s a special place. Nothing quite like it.
Favorite NYC Music Venue- As previously mentioned, the Beacon Theatre! Highly recommended.
Favorite Season in NYC- I think I’ve been there the most in the winter, and I absolutely love Christmas time, so I gotta go with winter.
Favorite NYC Restaurant – Probably La Mela in Little Italy. I’ve been there twice and had the family style meal and it’s unbelievable. I could barely move after eating there. And I’m always up for any great sushi spot!