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JPR Live Session: Gracie And Rachel

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New York duo Gracie and Rachel joined us from their home in Brooklyn to recreate some of the beautiful tunes from their album Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong. They also talked about the 'arranged marriage' that initially brought them together in high school, and how they've managed the close proximity brought on by the pandemic.

For Gracie Coates and Rachel Ruggles, the music connection started in high school in, of all things, a dance class where the pair were thrown together to craft music for a dance piece. They became fast friends and instant collaborators, but it wasn't until after they'd studied at separate Universities that the structure of Gracie and Rachel started to form in earnest. In 2017, after releasing their self-titled debut, NPR's All Songs Considered listeners voted them among their favorite new artists.

Fast forward to 2020, and Gracie and Rachel's sophomore album Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong - released on Righteous Babe, the label founded by Ani DiFranco. Displaying a wider variety of sounds and textures than their instrumentation (piano/violin) would seem to allow, Gracie and Rachel have crafted a collection of beautiful chamber-pop songs that wash over the listener.

With growing skills on the technical/producer side of music creation, the duo was able to re-create some of the multi-layered songs from the new album from their home studio.

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As FM Network Program Director and Music Director, Eric oversees many aspects of JPR's broadcast day. He still hosts the occasional Open Air or classical music shift, and is the driving force behind JPR Live Sessions - our popular series of live in-studio music performances and conversations.