Rachael Cantu
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Rachael Cantu

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Rock Americana

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Feb
10
Rachael Cantu @ The Bootleg Theatre

None, California, USA

None, California, USA

Jun
27
Rachael Cantu @ Molly Malones

Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles, California, USA

Apr
22
Rachael Cantu @ Loyola Marymount University

Marina Del Rey, California, USA

Marina Del Rey, California, USA

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Music

Press


“FAR AND WIDE” CD REVIEWS

Rachael Cantu’s new album “Far and Wide” was just released yesterday, and I absolutely adore this girl! She’s toured with acts like Tegan & Sara, Pat Benatar (how cool is that?), Ben Lee and most recently blues legend B.B. King, and has borrowed blues, soul and heartache, transforming her influences into a stunning collection of Breezy slow jams and gorgeous rhythmic tracks like “Eaten Alive” and “Your Hips Are Bad” and “We’re THe Rebels”. She’s got some country-infused tracks too like “Blue House Baby”. She throws in a few sad songs for good measure, like “Genius and a Wizard” and the haunting “Devil’s Thunder” likened to a church hymn with a backup choir. Easily one of my favorites. She reminds me of a laid-back Regina Spektor, with more soulful and dynamic voice range. It’s tough to find original female songwriters that aren’t a total bore, but she’s definitely a gem - with some poetic prose that are imaginative and playful, she’s a delight to listen to.
--- FRIENDS WITH BOTH ARMS
- Friends With Both Arms


After you listen to her newest album you’ll be (as we are) fully obsessed with her voice, her feelings, and her sweet-but-smoky vocal adventures. This month Rachael has released “Far and Wide”, her second studio album created with Canadian producer Futcher and indie engines like Tegan Quin, Ted Gowans and Charla McCutcheon to name a few. The album’s already received some rave reviews, some of its tracks already receiving airtime on my favorite TV guilty pleasure, Private Practice. “Far and Wide” is an acoustic indie rock/pop/sometimes folk record by a girl with a guitar, grace and feelings that we can all get down with. Rachael’s powerful, sweet-but-smokey vocal style is complemented nicely by hooky melodies and arrangements, familiar enough to consume effortlessly and refreshing enough to stick in my head and demand repeat performances. I’m not going to break this album down too much, but if you’ve heard it then you might agree that the atmospheric, somewhat errie “Devil’s Thunder” is a killer way to kick it off. It sets the stage for what you may assume would be a moody, darker album, and yet instead what follows are 9 optimistic, upbeat toe-tappin’ tracks, notably “Thieves and Their Hands and “Your Hips Are Bad” which are downright contagious.
-- AUTOSTRADDLE - Autostraddle


Rachael Cantu's "summer of cycling" from her new EP "blood laughs" breaks my heart with its moody vocals, murky guitar, sullen piano line and tragic lyrics ("don't look too close at my fingers/'cause they're likely to bleed/from all the scratching and biting I do/every time you leave").

There's more to Cantu's music than what's regularly offered in the oft-derided singer/songwriter outlet. It's decidedly more rock & roll, for one, and she brings an innovative approach to her recording methods as well as lyric writing. "It's pretentious when you can guess the next lyric. It's bothersome. I don't want people to see what's coming next. I try to make each line the line that makes you think. Also, I don't like perfection. Imperfections are what make a song beautiful, like hearing a TV in the background or a piano with an out-of-tune key. I don't like polished sounds; it's unnecessary to me," says Cantu.

She made her way to Boston a few years back from Orange County, CA, where she led her own band, Quite Satellite. Along the way, she sparked the interest of many renowned indie artists with her brand of deconstructed and occasionally avant-garde pop music - some of whom were willing to lend their musical production talents in the recording of "blood laughs".

"Yes, Kori Gardner from the band Mates of State played piano on 'summer of cycling'; guitarist Tony Goddess of Papas Fritas is featured on the song 'blood laughs'; and Jason Gnewikow of the Promise Ring is featured on the last two tracks," Cantu explains.

I ask her about her perception of the sterile singer/songwriter scene here in Boston. She cringes. "Bands don't seem to stick. Some don't even leave the city to make a name for themselves. It's depressing and hard to get excited about; although, the Dresden Dolls are getting out there. I think that's great."

"As far as singer/songwriters go, I don't want to be known as the girl with the guitar. Singer/songwriter shows are painful for me. I want to play with rock bands. However, I guess it's more of a guilty pleasure to listen to female singer/songwriters," she says.

As with most great songwriters, Cantu's music is infectious, clever and never pretentious. With an interesting touch of vintage instruments and experimental recording techniques, as heard on "blood laughs", Rachael has a sharp idea of what people finally need to hear - and how to get it across. - WEEKLY DIG (Boston area paper)


..."Rachael Cantu followed with a set that ranged from sweet and a little shy to in-your-face bravado. Cantu has a way of balancing the naivete of her voice with the strength of her guitar. Meg Toohey of the So and So's joined her on "Bull Sessions," a confessional song that's not a mere pity party. It's a two-sided argument with Toohey's guitar playing the devil's advocate arguing the other side of the story. Her accompaniment was most definitely contradictory to Cantu's voice and guitar, but that contradiction was simultaneously complimentary make the song like a relationship on the verge, playing out the unavoidable moments of hope just before the break-up.
The impact of Cantu's "blood laughs" in a solo setting is always surprising, as on her CD the song is an electric dream. Recorded, her voice is a hollow echo and the song is like being in a Sofia Coppola movie. I never expect the song to be as intense live, but she consistently manages to bring the full impact of the song to stage with minimal accompaniment. Turning it from a song with barely heard vocals to one that depends on the strength of her voice.
Before setting off on tour with Tegan and Sara and playing every night in front of crowds, Rachael Cantu was a pleasant, but sometimes awkward performer. Her demeanor was that of one still seeking approval, and her presence wasn't assure as her songs begged her to be. On stage at the Middle East, Cantu lived up to the hometown show expectations. Her stage presence greatly improved, her gaze into the audience brave, her confidence almost palpable, without a touch of arrogance. This tour has turned Rachael Cantu from an exceptional songwriter into an exceptional performer. A well-rounded showwoman with more to learn, more to share, and room to grow." ... - Northeast Performer Feb. 2005


"California native Rachael Cantu posses a diamond-edged voice that cuts straight through the heart. Having finished up the year opening for Tegan and Sara, Cantu is back in Somerville (hooray!) where we can enjoy her OC-style up close and sensational." - The Somerville News


..."Rachael Cantu, whose acoustic guitar and sweet voice are reminiscent of a young Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) opens the show." - Flavorpill Chicago


Discography

"Blood Laughs" EP

"Run All Night" Debut CD (Q Division - released in Feb 2006) featuring Tegan Quin (of Tegan and Sara)

Self-Titled 4 Song EP (released Jan 2009 on elliotthedog music)

"Far and Wide" CD (to be released in Nov 2009)

Photos

Bio

RACHAEL CANTU is best known for her evocative blend of indie folk rock delicately infused with distinctly powerful vocals, gentle melodies and heartfelt lyrics. This SoCal native has the whole package—it's no wonder she's been aptly described as "something of a mix of The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, PJ Harvey, Sarah McLachlan and Norah Jones."

Rachael's career first took flight when she joined Tegan and Sara on the road as their opener on multiple tours, leading to additional gigs with such notable artists as Ben Lee, St. Vincent, Kaki King and Joan as Police Woman. In addition to solo shows in Los Angeles and major cities across the U.S. and Canada, Rachael honed her live show opening for generational powerhouses like Pat Benatar, Peter Frampton and she won over new fans touring the country with the legendary B.B. King.

Rachael Cantu's second studio album "Far and Wide," released in 2009, is an artistic departure from the brooding and moody sounds of her impressive debut CD "Run All Night" (Q Division) and highlights her growth, maturity and
evolution as a rising singer/songwriter through musical exploration. Produced by Futcher (The Be Good Tanyas) in Vancouver, the captivating collection of ten eclectic songs with thoughtfully layered arrangements showcase her effortless stylistic versatility, which ranges from upbeat pop, forlorn folk, characteristically haunting pieces and splashes of everything in between. Standout tracks like the ethereal "Devil's Thunder" and touchingly contemplative "Make A Name For Me and You" have attracted the attention of Chop Shop's Alexandra Patsavas, who featured both tunes on ABC's Private Practice. More national exposure followed through a variety of TV placements, such as Pretty Little Liars, Royal Pains and Degrassi, to name a few.

Recently, Rachael, along with musician Harlan Silverman, released a studio project called "Little Brutes," a seven song indie-pop EP that features irresistible melodies, infectious lyrics and beautifully executed instrumentation. Currently being shopped around for placements and licensing, "Little Brutes" is a catchy collection of songs that instantly appeal. Currently, you can find Rachael back in the studio writing her forthcoming solo album, due in the not-too-distant future.

DISCOGRAPHY
*Sept 2011 - Little Brutes "7 song EP" (side project with Harlan Silverman)
*Nov 2009 - “Far and Wide” CD
*Jan 2009 - “Rachael Cantu” EP
*Feb 2006 - “Run All Night” CD (Q Division) - Received critical acclaim as it rocketed up the CMJ Top 200 where it sat comfortably next to artists like Ryan Adams and Neko Case.
*2004 - “Blood Laughs” EP

“FAR AND WIDE” CD REVIEWS

Rachael Cantu’s new album “Far and Wide” was just released yesterday, and I absolutely adore this girl! She’s toured with acts like Tegan & Sara, Pat Benatar (how cool is that?), Ben Lee and most recently blues legend B.B. King, and has borrowed blues, soul and heartache, transforming her influences into a stunning collection of Breezy slow jams and gorgeous rhythmic tracks like “Eaten Alive” and “Your Hips Are Bad” and “We’re THe Rebels”. She’s got some country-infused tracks too like “Blue House Baby”. She throws in a few sad songs for good measure, like “Genius and a Wizard” and the haunting “Devil’s Thunder” likened to a church hymn with a backup choir. Easily one of my favorites. She reminds me of a laid-back Regina Spektor, with more soulful and dynamic voice range. It’s tough to find original female songwriters that aren’t a total bore, but she’s definitely a gem - with some poetic prose that are imaginative and playful, she’s a delight to listen to.
--- FRIENDS WITH BOTH ARMS

After you listen to her newest album you’ll be (as we are) fully obsessed with her voice, her feelings, and her sweet-but-smoky vocal adventures. This month Rachael has released “Far and Wide”, her second studio album created with Canadian producer Futcher and indie engines like Tegan Quin, Ted Gowans and Charla McCutcheon to name a few. The album’s already received some rave reviews, some of its tracks already receiving airtime on my favorite TV guilty pleasure, Private Practice. “Far and Wide” is an acoustic indie rock/pop/sometimes folk record by a girl with a guitar, grace and feelings that we can all get down with. Rachael’s powerful, sweet-but-smokey vocal style is complemented nicely by hooky melodies and arrangements, familiar enough to consume effortlessly and refreshing enough to stick in my head and demand repeat performances. I’m not going to break this album down too much, but if you’ve heard it then you might agree that the atmospheric, somewhat errie “Devil’s Thunder” is a killer way to kick it off. It sets the stage for what you may assume would be a moody, darker album, and yet instead what follows are 9 optimistic, upbeat toe-tappin’ tracks, notably “Thieves and Their Hands and “Your Hips Are Bad” which are downright contagious.
-- AUTOSTRA