“A Spellbinding Singer” – New York Music Daily
“One of the most creative forces in the world” – Impose Magazine
“A voice part Emmylou Harris and part Yoko Ono” – New York Times
“Equally indebted to the Who’s Quadrophenia and the Steve Reich opera The Cave, with video and music interacting in fluid, complex ways“ – VICE
“Soothsayer, harlequin, medicine woman” – Deli Magazine
“Tempting to draw comparisons to both Kate Bush and Paul Giovanni’s earthy soundtrack for The Wicker Man, but this is all Mason, her persona leaving an indelible impression on the listener” – PopMatters
Renowned performance artist and musician Rachel Mason, freshly signed to Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records, has announced her forthcoming single ‘Tigers in the Dark’, along with an accompanying video, directed by Matthew Spiegelman and choreographed by Haylee Nichele. This is the first single from the forthcoming album ‘Das Ram’.The single, which is due out on September 9, will be followed by the ‘Das Ram’ LP, to be released digitally by Cleopatra Records and on limited edition cassette by Practical Records.
This video’s first screening took place during an immersive theatrical performance at LTD Los Angeles, which involved infamous DJ Rodney Bingenheimer (a.k.a. Rodney on the Roq) and a virtual reincarnation of his legendary English Disco.
‘Das Ram’ is the first complete set of songs written and performed with Mason’s longtime creative partner Jeff Hassay. An artist, writer and publisher, who also co-runs an art gallery, Hassay recorded, mixed and produced these tracks at his studio in Los Feliz. He has previously worked with Jonathan Richman (Modern Lovers), Jennifer Herrema (Royal Trux, Black Bananas), Avi Buffalo, Chris Cohen (Deerhoof), and Carolyn Penny Packer (Bouquet).
“Tigers In the Dark” is one of those songs that felt like it was already written when I started singing it. Jeff was playing this little guitar riff and I just heard the lyrics and the melody instantly. It felt like it was just handed to me,” explains Rachel Mason. “The voice of the character in the Tigers song feels like it just wanted to exist with or without me. I’m just the vessel that gets to carry it out into the world right now. The video feels like it magically coalesced.”
In scripts, sculpture, rock operas, performances and songs spanning over a decade, Mason has created imagined worlds where animals, objects, mythological creatures and all forms of non-human entities have taken shape through her body and voice. Her shows wrap the audience in fantastical narratives which interweave musical, theatrical and narrative elements into unexpected operatic journeys.
She has recorded 13 full-length albums and three operas, including her most recent unique rock opera feature film The Lives of Hamilton Fish, which toured the world in 2015 and was released this month on VOD. Mason has exhibited her visual art and performance work at museums, film and performance festivals internationally. Her work has garnered press attention from the likes of Vice, Interview Magazine, The New York Times, Artforum, LA Weekly, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, Art in America, and Flash Art.
‘Enter Das Ram’ (live performance) https://vimeo.com/171835013
The Lives of Hamilton Fish (set) https://soundcloud.com/rachelannmason/sets/the-lives-of-hamilton-fish
Mason has shared stages, toured and collaborated with numerous artists, including Sharon Von Etten, Jennifer Herrema (RTX), Phosphorescent, Devendra Banhardt, Prince Rama, Light Asylum, Josephine Foster, Diane Cluck, and Excepter. She has also exhibited sculpture, video and performance art at many of the country’s leading art galleries.
She is currently co-directing a documentary feature on Circus of Books, the notorious adult bookstores owned by her parents, which played a major role in the Silver Lake and Hollywood music scenes and gay culture. Her ‘Starseeds’ Art Project is also being exhibited at LTD Los Angeles until August 14.
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