For the seemingly always-on-the-move Rachel Platten, summertime will be a relatively stationary period in which the singer/pianist will roll up her sleeves and get to work on a new studio album.
Then again, Platten could end up making another international project, writing and recording in a variety of far-apart locales — just like she did with her most recent full-length effort, 2011’s Be Here (Rock Ridge Music).
With travel and relocation so much a part of her life and career, Platten recently found time to talk about some of the places she’s been — not long before hitting the road for a U.S. headlining tour in support of her new EP.
In the shadows of Shea Stadium: Platten was born in the Queens, N.Y., neighborhood of Flushing, home of the New York Mets (not her favorite baseball team, by the way). “We moved when I was like 15 months or so,” she says. “My parents wanted to get out of the city.”
Living near the heart of Red Sox Nation: Raised just outside Boston, Platten remembers her parents acquiring an upright piano around the time they settled in Massachusetts. “I was constantly banging it, and when I was 5, they let me start having lessons,” she says. A precocious Platten wrote her first song — about her dog — at age 7. “That might be the most powerful, emotional thing I’ve written,” she says with a laugh.
College in Connecticut: Platten attended Trinity College in Hartford, and it was toward the end of her higher-education years that she started playing gigs in the city’s concert venues. “Sully’s Pub was one of them,” she recalls. “I played my big first show, opening for Rusted Root, at the Webster.”
A trip to Trinidad: During her junior year of college, Platten was studying in the West Indies when a band she knew asked for help. “Their keyboard player was sick or something, and they needed a sub.” She ended up performing with the group during the finals of the International Soca Monarch competition.
Here, there and everywhere: “The album wasn’t intended to be an album,” Platten says about Be Here, which features the single “1,000 Ships,” a Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart hit. “It was intended to be different songwriting sessions — [in] Sweden, London, New York and Los Angeles. I had a hard time narrowing things down, and I was scared to release something. I was excited that the sound came out to be this international thing. It’s pop music, but it has credibility.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Rachel Platten on tour (schedule subject to change):
* May 11: Anthology — San Diego
* May 12: Hotel Café — Los Angeles
* May 13: B-Ryders — Bakersfield, Calif.
* May 16: Fulton 55 — Fresno, Calif.
* May 18: Hotel Utah — San Francisco
* May 19: Mississippi Studios — Portland, Ore.
* May 21: Triple Door — Seattle
* May 23: The Venue — Boise, Idaho
* May 24: Kilby — Salt Lake City
* May 25: Soiled Dove — Denver
* May 26: Waiting Room — Omaha, Neb.
* May 27: Vaudeville Mews — Des Moines, Iowa
* May 29: 7th Street Entry — Minneapolis
* May 31: Redamte Coffee House — Madison, Wis.
* June 1: Space — Evanston, Ill.
* June 2: The Intersection — Grand Rapids, Mich.
* June 3: 20th Century Theater — Cincinnati
* June 6: Headliners — Louisville, Ky.
* June 7: The Basement — Columbus, Ohio
* June 8: Beachland Tavern — Cleveland
* June 9: The Fire — Philadelphia
* June 10: Jammin’ Java — Washington, D.C.