Album Offers Taste of ‘Coming Soon: The Real Life Musical Experience’
Set to Debut Live in San Francisco Later This Year
Lark Also Announces First Post-Pandemic Live Performances
Queer, feminist singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Rachel Lark, well-known for her biting political commentary and fearless authenticity, brings her hilarious and often raunchy wit to her newest offering, COMING SOON: THE PANDEMIC SESSIONS.
A concept album based on her forthcoming stage musical, it was created during the pandemic when production for the live show was abruptly put on hold. When lockdown began, Lark creatively pivoted and marshalled her band and cast members to record 10 of the musical’s 20 songs in a recording studio, where layering and isolation booths allowed the team to collaborate in a safe and distanced way. Now that production for the live show is back underway, with plans for a San Francisco debut later this year, the album serves as a preview of what’s to come. COMING SOON: THE PANDEMIC SESSIONS arrives via all digital platforms on May 14.
The inevitable evolution from albums entitled, for example, “Vagenius,” “They’ve Done Studies” and “Hung for the Holidays,” “Coming Soon: The Real Life Musical Experience” is the comical yet brutally raw adventure of one millennial woman’s quest for sexual fulfillment. The show tackles pressing themes like gender roles, sexual identity, relationship models, kink, consent and trauma, all while somehow managing to remain fun and catchy.
Lark’s previous pandemic release was her “Sex and Balances” EP, which came out last September. In a review of the EP, Billboard Magazine celebrated Lark’s “impressive vocals and expert songwriting capabilities” while commenting on her “razor-sharp, satirical wit.” The video for the track, “The World’s Really F*cked But This Show Will Be Pretty Good”, is must-see viewing for its staging and humorous approach. In 2020, in addition to her EP, Lark launched her new podcast, What’s The Point? where she has interviewed artists, professors and organizers about the relationship between art and politics.
Rachel Lark has always loved musicals, but writing one brought her new-found appreciation for the form. “Musicals have the unique power of tackling heavy, dramatic concepts while taking care of the audience through the magical container of song,” she explains. “Musicals are simply the best. I truly don’t understand people who don’t like musicals.”
The music for COMING SOON is a natural extension of Lark’s previous work. “I’ve always struggled to present the dual identities of my artistic self: my emo-girl, angsty teen songwriter and my political humor comedian. In musical theater, both can exist in a way they can’t in the pop live music terrain.”
As part of the album launch, Rachel will play her first post-pandemic live shows,
at the East Bay Community Space in Oakland, Friday, May 21 through Sunday, May 23. All tickets are $30 and vaccinations will be required for concertgoers.
Rachel Lark released her first album, “Lark After Dark,” in 2013, followed by her debut music video, “Warm, Bloody and Tender,” which she funded through a Kickstarter campaign and produced herself. That was the same year she discovered the popular Bay Area-based Bawdy Storytelling, where she found a forum for her sex-themed songs, among them “For The Guys,” a song about consent and sexual assault. It was “Warm, Bloody, and Tender” and its eminently catchy chorus and melody that became her provocateur anthem.
She also began touring the U.S. and Europe regularly, playing festivals, comedy clubs and colleges and building a die-hard cult following among the poly, sex-positive and queer communities, as well as academics, podcast nerds and psychonauts. Looking at her childhood, this trajectory made perfect sense.
Born in Raleigh, NC and raised by philosophy professors, Rachel was surrounded by art, activism and music, and began performing at an early age. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be onstage,” she recalls. She started writing her own songs by age 12 and began performing in cafes soon after that. Throughout high school, she performed in musicals, played in bands, and interned at a recording studio. Her passion for politics led her to study Economics & Latin American Studies in college, but during her time at school she realized she wouldn’t be happy unless she pursued a career in music.
Now based in Oakland, California and pursuing music full-time, her passion for activism has stayed a part of her life. In 2017, she began making trips to Tijuana to translate and advocate for asylum seekers at the border and worked to match asylum-seekers with U.S. sponsors to get them out of ICE detention.
Her fans appreciate Lark’s radical message and community work, which might be part of the reason why she’s had such success with her crowdfunding campaigns. After successfully funding several major projects through Kickstarter, she launched her Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/rachellark) in 2018, which she currently uses to fund her music videos, albums and shows. Though the world has yet to see the full impact of what COMING SOON has in store, it’s clear that Rachel Lark has already arrived.
COMING SOON: THE PANDEMIC SESSIONS
1. The Manual Says
2. When There’s Three
3. Twenty Minutes of What
4. What Happened Was Not Your Fault
5. Breathe In
6. The World Fucks You
7. Why Do I Like This
8. Trying Hard to Make This Hot
9. Coming Soon
10. Love Song
Rachel Lark Happy Hour Residency Concerts
at East Bay Community Space
507 55th Street
Friday, May 21: 5:00-6:00PM
Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23: 4:30-5:30PM
All tickets are $30
NOTE: For maximum Covid safety, all attendees must show proof of full vaccination at least two weeks prior to the show or proof of their first vaccine shot at least two weeks before the show PLUS present a negative COVID test result that is less than 72 hours old
For concert ticket information visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-rachel-lark-happy-hour-residency-tickets-149770111435
For COMING SOON: THE PANDEMIC SESSIONS:
Pre-save the album on Spotify here: https://show.co/ItpMroZ
Pre-order the album on bandcamp here: https://rachellark.bandcamp.com/album/coming-soon-the-pandemic-sessions
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