Early Praise for Rachel's new album, "Put Out The Stars":
Balancing fragility and strength, introspection and unblinking observation, Oakland singer, songwriter, and pianist Rachel Efron sets her lambent, poetically charged lyrics to soft, caressing melodies. -- Andrew Gilbert, SF Chronicle >> link to full review
"It's not fair to leave a radio host speechless." -- Derk Richardson, during live performance and interview on KPFA's "Hear & Now"
Efron proves herself to be an exceptional singer-songwriter-pianist. Literate lyrics and haunting melodies make this collection special. Efron’s vocals are genuine, delicate and deeply moving. This is profoundly pleasurable pop with rich classical influences woven throughout. -- Paul Freeman, Mercury News >> link to full review
Rachel is a very good pianist and her beautiful plaintive voice is perfectly suited for her music. The piano intro for “Closing Day” with its unexpected chord changes is a good example of her clever compositions. -- A.J. Wachtel, The Noise: Music New England >> link to full review
On her new album, 'Put Out The Stars,' Efron breaks the imaginary pane of glass that separates herself from her listeners. -- Teresa Thomas, Ashland Mail Tribune >> link to full article
Efron has forged a distinct 'art-pop' sound for herself at the corner of jazz and pop with poetic lyrics and persuasive piano. -- Aimsel Ponti, Portland Press Herald >> link to full article and interview
'Put Out The Stars' [is] an album of silky, poetic torch songs. -- Nicholas Schroeder, Portland Phoenix >> link to full review
Reviews of Rachel's first albums, "Say Goodbye" and "4AM":
The voice is airy, plaintive, the sound, seemingly detached, but it isn't long -- about three notes will do it -- before Bay Area singer-songwriter Rachel Efron hooks you by the heart with "Crescent Moon," the first cut on her second album, "4AM." All 11 cuts on the album are shrouded in longing, sometimes with a touch of regret and loss, at other times, with a sense of uncertainty about the future. Efron's deceptively effortless piano pop stands out from the pack because of her delicate lyricism, as in "Before I Fall In Love": "You are with me as images of sleep / as creatures of the shipwreck, life in love, dark and deep / Form your sadness even as if dies / colors the reflection of your past in your eyes." >>link to full article
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
For all her whispy-voiced brooding, Berkeley singer-songwriter Rachel Efron has a sophisticiation that distinguishes her from the average young woman at a piano. Clasically trained, she gravitated to the most expressionistic composers in the canon (Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy), along with a wide range of hard-hearted rock and folk vocalists -- all of whom bleed into her music. Efron's new album is largely about transitions, hope, female fortitude, and that sort of thing (hence the allusion to dawn). It's a work of very patient songcraft, enhanced by the singer's chemistry with drummer Jon Arkin and bassist Dan Feiszli. In twelve ballads, the three of them achieve a fine balance of sweetness and emotional heft. There's a lot of melancholy beneath Efron's pretty patina, but that's what makes it interesting.
Rachel Swan, East Bay Express
Rachel Efron is a spell caster -- on herself, on her audience and on the folks who spin her hypnotic debut, "4AM." Her gorgeous arrangements are easy to get lost in, but it doesn't seem to satisy Efron, who has worked hardest on doing the little things better since the album dropped. Will the follow-up ratchet it up a notch, and burst with Rufus Wainwright bombast? On the contrary, it's back to basics for the humble chanteuse. The stakes are higher, the game is bigger, and the rush is faster when it's just you and your songs, no help and no explanations. Instead of going for broke, Efron is channeling her growing musical force through a narrower passageway. Maybe depending on others felt like settling. Maybe Efron had some dragons to slay in her own soul. >>link to full article and interview
Mike Olcott, Portland Press Herald
The music of singer, songwriter and pianist Rachel Efron is known for her poetic lyrics and soulful tunes. The 30-year old Maine native says her music has elements of jazz and pop, while her lyrics are introspective and reflective. "I call it artistic pop because it's not rock; it's not folk, and it's definitely not jazz," she says.
Teresa Thomas, Ashland Mail Tribune
Efron's second album, "4AM," was released last summer, and I had a fine time taking in her gorgeous jazzy songs at www.myspace.com/rachelefron. "Crescent Moon" is slow line honey with enchanting imagery. "I could show you these maple trees naked in the cold, and I would give to you green and blue stories I have told," Efron sings.
Aimsel Ponti, Portland Press Herald
Need a stress reliever? Rachel Efron will soothe your troubles.
Buzzworthy, Eugene Register Guard
A strong suggestion for your live music radar screen: Rachel Efron has returned home to Maine from the West Coast with a host of big league talent on her latest, "4AM." And she wants to play her songs for the folks where she grew up. Not your garden variety supporting cast, these are thoughtful players with long resumes in the business; but Efron is the star. Instead of the tricky, political act of patching disparate band pieces together, Efron's songs flow from her inside out, her band eager to complement the powerful core of elements she brings to the table.
Mike Olcott, Portland Press Herald
Watch Rachel's live TV appearance in support of '4AM' on WCSH Channel 6 "207"
Listen to Rachel's interview with Keith Shortall in support of '4AM' on NPR's "Maine Things Considered"
Utterly laid-back piano pop that sucks the tension right out of the room. Efron makes it sound easy but there's a reason so few artists get it right.
Nate Seltenrich, East Bay Express
Maine expat Rachel Efron combines a light, gentle touch on the piano with the eye and the voice of a poet to make some of the loveliest music one has heard, soft, intimate, ethereal, and strikingly genuine. She's teamed up with some local Bay Area music biz heavies on her first album, "Say Goodbye," which has a more formal, structured, piano jazz sort of feel to it but there are still places, here and there, where the free-spirit in her lilts and flits and lets loose.
Chris Patrick Morgan, San Francisco Examiner
Bay Area pianist and singer/songwriter Rachel Efron has a brand-new CD titled, "Say Goodbye." She's a budding presence on the Bay Area music scene, and I'm sure you're going to be hearing a lot more from her. On this beautiful debut CD she has stellar accompaniment from bassist Jon Evans, who produced the album, drummer Scott Amendola, with guest appearances by Julie Wolf, Marika Hughes, Dina MacAbee, and others.
Derk Richardson, KPFA 94.1
There is a sense on this record that the title is the theme; these are therapeutic songs, each a farewell to the moments that inspired them. Efron has released an uncommonly lush, mature debut. With breathy, lilting vocals and a dense backdrop of horns, percussion and her own piano, these 11 tracks are their own universe. Elements of jazz, folk, and even Latin percussion are all present. This is a late afternoon, rainy day album. It showcases the talents of producer Jon Evans and the rest of the backing musicians, whose contributions are invaluable. There's a definite Aimee Mann / Fiona Apple influence here, but lighter and more fun. "Underneath the Moon" is a great pop-jazz groove that has the best hook on the album. The last track, "Solstice," seems uniquely solo, a spare strings arrangement behind the delicate vocals and gorgeous piano melody. "Say Goodbye" is, somewhat ironically, an excellent greeting by San Francisco's Rachel Efron. Give this a listen, preferably when wrapped in a cozy blanket while sipping tea.
Amanda File, The Owl Mag
The CD is sweet not loud, not in your face, but gentle and thoughtful, quietly comfortable. Efron's voice is sweet, too, like a young Sarah McLachlan (whose earliest work was angelic). The best song is "What I Know," kick-starting the CD, and it really entices the listener into anticipating the next song. "An Afterthought (Melting to You)" is mesmerizing. I loved the gorgeous piano solo and horns in the title track, "Say Goodbye". "Underneath the Moon" shows off Efron's jazz training, and "Solstice" surprised me with an unexpected crescendo of orchestration. Efron's lyrics were poignant in their quiet force. In one song she sings, "It's easy to trust what can't hurt you" it struck me as heartbreaking in its context. While there is definitely a feeling of change, transition and perhaps some hardships overcome, "Say Goodbye" does not feel like an emo songfest. It is lighter in tone and owns a haunting sweetness that makes this debut tender and worth hearing.
J. Fitzpatrick, The Music Scene
Rachel Efron made sure the bases were loaded before finally coming up to the plate. The Oakland-based vocalist-pianist's debut CD "Say Goodbye" features an impressive cast of players, including drummer Scott Amendola (Madeleine Peyroux) and accordionist Julie Wolf (Ani DiFranco).
Jim Harrington, Oakland Tribune