Not The Donnas: The ambient sound of Rachel’s is more a landscape than a genre

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Quarterstick Records

Three out of five stars

The sound is hard to classify.

Often characterized as avant-classical, the title of the newest album from Rachel’s, System/Layers, only loosely highlights the band’s imaginary attributes.

The album was originally composed as a live soundtrack for a theater and dance production, but it soon developed a life of its own.

Systems reflects the band’s growing maturity, both musically and conceptually-the unique blend of frantic cellos, haunting pianos and solitary violas perfectly

illustrates the intimacy of city life and the subtle details of nature that so often get overlooked in modern life.

Systems/Layers, while lacking any sort of catchy lyrics or memorable choruses, accomplishes a great deal. Rachel’s successfully produces a wispy passionate reflection of life that will satisfy the need for imaginative classical music.

Dana Green