Gracie and Rachel: “We like the challenge of adapting to different kinds of rooms.” (2/3 at MilkBoy w/ Jesca Hoop)

“We love Philly!  I feel that Philly often is chatty in a good way, like talking about how much they like the music.  They’re attentive and it’s a party;...

“We love Philly!  I feel that Philly often is chatty in a good way, like talking about how much they like the music.  They’re attentive and it’s a party; it’s a mix!” says baroque pop duo Gracie and Rachel, who have opened for the likes of Tori Amos, Julien Baker, and San Fermin, and once prompted Amy Poehler to say, “What do doe-eyed vixens, melodically-driven indie pop and Brooklyn, New York have in common? Gracie and Rachel, of course.  This up and coming piano/voice and violin duo are stealing hearts from coast to coast with their original music and inspiring outlook on the act of creating art.”

I’m chatting with the duo over the phone as they prepare to kick off a tour supporting folk singer/songwriter and PHILTHY favorite Jesca Hoop.  The tour kicks off tonight at City Winery in Boston, and includes a stop at MilkBoy this Friday, February 3rd.  And the reputation our city has achieved with Gracie and Rachel seems well-earned, having played a number of local dates over the years, including several stops at World Café Live, in addition to gigs at Johnny Brenda’s, Boot & Saddle, Bourbon & Branch, and MilkBoy.  During our chat they admit to liking this variety of venues that they find themselves regularly playing: “We do like to try to bend our set to the room, so we were just looking at this tour routing and trying to figure out what we could do.  We like the challenge of adapting to different kinds of rooms.”  However, they do each have their favorites.  “I like seated theatres, but Rachel likes standing rooms,” says Gracie, before Rachel chimes in: “I like packing in tight, getting right up there, and maybe a rowdier show!”

Gracie and Rachel’s most recent stop in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection came just last November, when they opened for Ani DiFranco at Union Transfer.  Fittingly, Ani is more than just a headliner the duo gets to support…  They’re signed to her Righteous Babe Records, who released their 2020 Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong sophomore LP and subsequent singles and EPs.  They tell me that Ani is simultaneously a sister, mentor, and boss.

“She’s extremely supportive, and being able to have that community is like a sisterhood.  She’s a mentor, as well.  It’s like she ran, so I could walk.  It’s really cool when your boss is like your sister.  She watches our set every single night and she gives us great notes, too, which is so rare in a headliner.”

The duo tell me they have a wide variety of musical interests, with Rachel saying, “I listen to a lot of different genres, from ambient noise to pretty heavy rock,” and Gracie telling me she’s recently been finding inspiration in Marika Hackman and SOHN, who she describes as, “boppy orchestral music.”  They also tell me that they are, indeed, fans of Jesca Hoop and quite excited to be on the road with her: “To get this opportunity is really special!  We’re both performing as a duo.”  And, in terms of what can be expected of their opening set, they say, “We will be debuting some new music.  We have a new EP coming out in May, so we’ll be teasing some new singles, and a really fun cover, and some ambient interludes!”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.