Set to the backdrop of vintage rural highways and all but forgotten small towns, Rachel Forehand’s debut EP, Six Strings & Daydreams, captures the glow of nostalgia, the freedom of youth, and first loves in the summertime.
“I learned to play when I was eighteen, went to college for two years, and around the second or third year I started writing songs,” says the Macon native. “I really don’t know what prompted it. I guess it was just having fun in South Georgia, and I decided I wanted to write songs about that.”
Forehand grew up surrounded by music courtesy of her father and uncle who were both in local bands. Forehand’s songs are steeped in her influences, a unique crossroads between jam bands and outlaw country music.
“Yeah, I’ve listened to [Johnny Cash] all my life! But also in addition to Cash, I would have to say JJ Grey has also been a big influence!”
Stylistically, Rachel may wander into pop country territory every now and then, but what she really cares about are whether her songs tell a story that moves people.
“If I’m going to tell a story, I’m going to tell it how it really happened,” says Forehand. “To me, it’s the story that makes a song good, and the feeling behind it, a story that makes you feel something when you’re confronted with it. That’s why I write music. If even just ten people hear my songs and are moved by ’em, that’s good.”
This dedication to the story is front and center in one of her recent singles, “Vapor In The Mist”, where Rachel draws from her own experiences.
“I was dating a boy, my first love, and he had been having some health issues One day, out of nowhere, he just told us all in a very slow southern drawl, ‘What is life but a vapor in the mist?’ And then he sadly died in a car accident only a short time after that,” remembers Rachel. “So ever since then, the phrase vapor in the mist has been on my mind just waiting to be a song. It actually happened six years ago, and I have only just recently made it a song. Since then, I have struggled with things like being content with myself and finding love again, so the song is kind of about that, but also on the surface a bit happier and about soaking up the happy moments in life.”
Six Strings & Daydreams is Forehand’s first all-original effort and was recorded with the assistance of another Macon artist, the late Dustin Murdock, and his Mullberries partner Steven Ledbetter.
“Dustin Murdock and Steven Ledbetter recorded the album for me at Ledbetter’s studio Gift Horse Studio in Athens, and it just blows me away that there are only two musicians on that whole thing. My dad is on the guitar on one, but it was mostly Dustin and Steven.”