“What’s a little rain?” Rachel Ann Weiss asks while seated on a bench beneath some trees in Washington Square Park, not far from her New York home. “As long as I haven’t straightened my hair, rain and I are OK. I used to say that my initials stood for ‘Rain and Wind.’ … [The reason] why I love London so much [is] because there’s a lot of rain — that bone-chilling, constant soul-crushing rain: It suits me.”
One way or another, Weiss’ self-proclaimed “thing for water” has a tendency to be part of her music, so it’s only appropriate that the sky has opened up while she discusses her new three-song EP, Always, on the day of its release (Sept. 9).
Singer-songwriter Weiss (the daughter of actress Kathleen Turner) says the opener “Always Too Something” was based on an experience where “I thought I was in love with someone long after I truly stopped being in love with him.” Her perspective changed after she and her ex had a long talk about their relationship on the eve of a video shoot for a song on Weiss’ debut album, 2012’s Dear Love.
“I realized I was the one standing in my own way with regard to moving on in my life,” Weiss explains. “You can always find a reason to stop yourself from being vulnerable, from risking anything: ‘You’re always too something.’ So this is my get-over-it, move-on song. The more I keep playing it, the more it works.”
While working on he arrangement for “Microphone” with keyboardist Dominic Fallacaro, Weiss thought she sounded “like Shirley Bassey singing in front of an orchestra,” hence her decision to include horns and strings. Weiss says she recorded her vocals in Brooklyn, N.Y., at Atlantic Sound Studios, which she points out with glee “is directly facing the East River.”
A memorable day at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett (on Long Island) with the same ex-boyfriend who influenced “Always Too Something” served as the foundation for the third song on Always, “Dark Is Coming.”
“He and I watched the last sunrise of 2006 together, wrapped in a sheet, sharing a bar of Hershey’s chocolate, smoking cigarettes and talking about everything in our lives,” Weiss recalls. “It was amazing, and it was one of those feelings when you feel so completely close to somebody and also acknowledge how much of them there is to know.”
Weiss already knows what her next release will be: another three-song EP, this one called Never, most likely featuring a song called “Never Meant to Love You.” The tune was originally intended for Always, but according to Weiss, “somehow it lost that oomph that the live version has. So now I’m working on different styles of production that may be able to bring the power behind the song to a recorded track in a way that we haven’t gotten yet.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Rachel Ann Weiss photographed Sept. 9, 2014, in New York by Chris M. Junior