Rachael & Vilray Is a Vocal-Jazz Masterwork: Nonesuch Debut Features Sublime Acoustic-Based Performances, Contagious Rhythms and Warm, Tin Pan Alley-Inspired Feel
Rachael Price, lead singer for Lake Street Dive and frequent guest on NPR's "Live from Here," makes acoustic magic with guitarist/singer/composer Vilray on a delightful debut that feels unearthed from a dusty, long-locked American Songbook vault on their debut. Echoing the classic Tin Pan Alley era, as well as the warm feel of timeless black-and-white films, Rachael & Vilray is a sublime vocal-jazz masterwork for any age – particularly on vinyl. The 12-song set features ten originals by Vilray, along with two covers from the era that inspired him: Cuban composer Pedro Junco Jr.'s 1943 "Nosotros" and Milton Drake/Louis Atler's "I Love the Way You're Breaking My Heart," first popularized by Peggy Lee.
Price and Vilray, who began performing together in 2015, recorded the album with Lake Street Dive pianist Akie Bermiss, a rhythm section, and a small complement of horns, plus a guest performance from pianist Jon Batiste on "Go On Shining." Dan Knobler, who had worked with Lake Street Dive on the Free Yourself Up album, produced.
"It's a special kind of magic when two voices meet and immediately sound like they've never been apart," says Chronogram. "The voices of acoustic duo Rachael & Vilray are magical enough on their own, but when they blend in song the results are utterly sublime."