Mar 27, 2024 - Music

Chicago singer Rachel Drew releases new alt-country album

Rachel Drew hugging her guitar in front of a dark background.

Rachel Drew will perform Thursday night at FitzGerald's. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Bivens

Chicago alt-country/soul artist Rachel Drew is back on the scene with a dozen fresh songs.

The big picture: About eight years after her striking "Under the Sun" album debuted, the singer-songwriter is releasing a new record, "Old Sky New."

The vibe: The album's eclectic sounds range from propulsive R&B grooves ("If My Heart Was Made for You") to infectious Bakersfield country pop ("Summer's Over"). Plus, slinky hauntings like "Blaze for You," all connected by Drew's irresistible alto that recalls Dusty Springfield.

What she's saying: "The pandemic was a very prolific time for me, though it was full of hardship," the St. Ignatius grad and Oberlin English major tells Axios. "I profoundly missed being in rooms with other people and making music with friends, but I wrote a lot of songs and have two more albums' worth ready to record."

The band: No longer fronting the Bitter Roots, Drew will be backed Thursday night by local luminaries John Szymanski on guitar, Cathie Van Wert on violin, Alton Smith on keyboards, Michael Krayniak on bass, Jason Batchko on drum kit, Gerald Dowd on percussion, and Chloe F. Orwell and Wally Rozak on sax.

If you go: Tickets are $15.

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