Singer-songwriter Rae Fitzgerald has delivered a raspy, folksy gem of an album.
Available in NewsWhistle’s Summer Catalogue, Popular Songs for Wholesome Families isn’t your typical summer release.
But Rae’s latest effort flexes enough muscle for long breezy drives over hot asphalt, and ponies up the right dose of romance and longing for those porch-swinging nights.
Come to think of it these are pure songs for cynics and lovers, alike.
In all, this is great music from an extraordinary new talent.
Without further ado…
The NewsWhistle Q&A with Musician Rae Fitzgerald
Name: Rae Fitzgerald (above)
Date of Interview: 7/20/16
Age (if you want to give it up): 27
Band: Rae Fitzgerald
Birthplace: Crystal City, MO
Current town: Columbia, MO
Why did you decide on a career in music?
I don’t think I made a conscious decision that I wanted to be a musician as much as it just ended up being the thing I spent most of my time doing. But I’ve been doing it pretty seriously since I was about 20.
How would you describe your musical style?
I’m a singer/songwriter, so my music will always reflect that. Lyrics are and have always been really important to me; I write almost entirely autobiographically. That being said, my newest album has dream-folk and electronic elements and branches out from what listeners might consider stereotypical singer/songwriter instrumentation.
Why did you choose your city as your base?
Though I live in Columbia, MO, I go to Austin, TX, frequently to make connections, see rad shows and visit friends. I chose to be based in Columbia, MO, because I love this area of the Midwest, and because it’s an inspiring community of artists.
Any tips or suggestions (hotels, restaurants, sites) for people traveling to your part of the world?
If you’re visiting Columbia, MO, you don’t need to venture outside of downtown. Check out Café Berlin for a tasty, locally-sourced breakfast or lunch, or a rad show at night. If you’re in the mood for a movie, Ragtag Cinema offers independent films, comfy couches, baked treats and a full bar. Oh, and get a patchwork pork sandwich at Sycamore.
What’s the funniest or saddest thing that’s happened to you this week?
I suffered countless mosquito, tick and chigger bites this week while lost in the woods looking for chanterelles.
What’s your favorite movie? And why?
Probably Reality Bites. It features Winona Ryder, a Steinbeck-quoting Ethan Hawke, 90s era Gap clothes and a killer soundtrack.
What’s the biggest risk you took in life?
Not pursuing a conventional career.
If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be?
I would have started playing music sooner and spent less time in class.
Tell us your favorite joke:
Two biscuits are baking in the oven. One of the biscuits turns to the other biscuit and says, “Maaaaan, it’s hot in here!” The other biscuit shrieks, “AHH! A talking biscuit!”
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
I love Texas hold ‘em.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?
“Enjoy the times when you’re not employed; live it up. They won’t last long enough. And then you’ll be back working for someone you don’t want to.” –Dad
What’s been your best performance? The worst?
My bandmates and I played really well at Daytrotter. The worst show I ever played was a birthday party where I forgot the birthday girl’s name.
Any tips for people who want to join a band?
Do it. Don’t limit yourself to one instrument. Try everything. Try not to fight with bandmates. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Wait until the show’s over to do all the drugs.
Who are your musical idols? Why? Have you ever met them? If so, what happened?
Conor Oberst, Cat Power, Sufjan Stevens, Elliott Smith, Kim Deal. Haven’t met any of them, and I wouldn’t want to. I think it would be too weird.
What are your top five or ten favorite songs?
“Metal Heart” – Cat Power
“St. Ides Heaven” – Elliott Smith
“For Prayer” – Wye Oak
“White Shoes” – Conor Oberst
“17” – Youth Lagoon
“Farwell Transmission” – Magnolia Electric Co.
“Tape Song” – The Kills
“Hey” – The Pixies
“Serpents” – Sharon van Etten
“Lover’s Spit” – Broken Social Scene
Who’s your favorite celebrity? And why?
Bernie Sanders. He’s a badass revolutionary with a great sweater collection.
What’s your strangest phobia or superstition?
I’m afraid of the dark.
What’s your favorite city to play? Why?
Maybe Kalamazoo, MI, or Savannah, GA, because they just have such cool, weird vibes. And obviously, Columbia, MO.
Where was your best meal, and what was it?
In my kitchen. Deer tenderloin, extra rare, w/ a cold IPA.
Last, but not least, is there anything you want to pitch, promote or discuss?
Check out my new album, Popular Songs for Wholesome Families. Folks say it’s pretty good.
Images Courtesy of Rae Fitzgerald and Noisy Ghost PR; Photos by Scott Peterson