Harboured Sounds

Rachael Dadd

Rachael Dadd says

I am a wandering girl picking up things along the way, ideas, kindered spirits, inspiration for making new things. I am making music usually in the form of songs, textiles of an illustrative kind using a sewing machine, and a family. We travel together. Sometimes we are in the UK, usually Bristol and sometimes, like right now, in Japan. It is cold here in December like in England. The countryside is full of kaki trees with the bright orange jewel-like-fruit, dangling, sometimes devoured by crows and sometimes by people. I am eating one right now! 

“Harboured Sounds is an inventive idea for a sessions channel which I look forward to seeing unravel and getting to discover more Bristol artists in this way, the ones I have missed so far. The harbour is dear to my heart since being pat of it`s fabric as a ferry worker for 4 years and meeting lots of characters and kindered spirits on that water. A good good watery place!” Rachael Dadd

With a string of releases on Broken Sound (UK), Sweetdreams Press and Angel’s Egg (Japan) and support from DJs on Radio 1, Radio 2, Xfm, and 6 Music, experimental folk multi-instrumentalist Rachael Dadd is preparing to release her strongest and most impacting body of work into the public sphere. Two years in the making ‘We Resonate’ is an uplifting celebration of life and by far her most collaborative. It sees Rachael joined by Laura Marling’s sideman Marcus Hamblet, experimental Japanese multi-instrumentalist ICHI, Alessi Laurent-Marke of Alessi’s Ark, Rozi Plain, Emma Gatrill of Sons of Noel and Adrian, and Thomas Heather of Woodpecker Wooliams.

Starting life as demos of multi-instrumental layers born from the richness of her nomadic lifestyle, the songs were then recorded in part with a live band in a studio, followed by playful overdubbing in Rachael’s front room where she could prepare the piano and use husband ICHI’s handmade musical inventions. Carving out a niche of its own and crossing genres from folk, through pop and experimental, ‘We Resonate’ pulses with poly-rhythms on prepared-piano, homemade xylophone, voice, clarinets, typewriter, boxes of matches, steel drum, tap-dancing, clapping, and even the heartbeat of Rachael’s baby in the womb. Her love of african field-recordings and the spirit embodied within them has seeped into the diverse mix of influences, along with Steve Reich, Tune Yards, and the Japanese underground/improv scene.

Rachael’s songwriting hones in on themes of communication, collaboration, nurture and optimism, but the worth of living is emphasized in even greater magnitude within the album’s moments of desolation (unanswered walkie-talkies on a song about flood victims), in its moments of questioning (“I see you`re flexing the muscle of these modern machines but are you sure you’re fit to drive them?”), and in its moments of protest (an overblown clarinet and a salute to Ivor Cutler calling “all the women of the world take over!”). Overall though optimism spreads its warm sunbeam and sets with a golden light over the ebbing and swelling of “let it rise, let it fall…”

Rachael has performed to audiences of up to 3000 and in recent times has taken to the stage at festivals including Glastonbury, End of The Road, Green Man, Wilderness, No Direction Home, Truck, and many others. Outside of festivals, Rachael has played headline tours in the UK, Europe, and Japan, and has also toured in the company of David Thomas Broughton, Alessi’s Ark, Francois & The Atlas Mountains, This Is The Kit, and Rozi Plain. She is also an experienced collaborator and organiser: she co-curated The Local’s SHHH festival in Bristol, achieving her goal to be inclusive of many cultures and forms of expression; she programmed ‘Rachael Dadd and Friends’ at King’s Place – a fundraiser for Japan’s Tsunami victims; and she’s curated a group exhibition ‘DIY is all you need’ with fellow musicians and artists. Having graduated from art school with a First, Rachael is also a practicing and exhibiting artist always putting emphasis on the record sleeve and often making handmade limited editions, thinking conceptually and regularly collaborating with RCA graduate animator and sister Betsy Dadd.  

“An artist destined to define the genre” The Line Of Best Fit

“…effortlessly authentic/heartfelt songwriting & next level far out musicianship. A true artist. With every LP her life experience possesses and enchants her music, stirring further its ever inspiring melting-pot of ideas.” Julian Peck, Sunday Best

“Rachael Dadd can’t stop creating beautiful things, both tactile and musical” John Kennedy (Xfm) for Dazed & Confused

“…beautiful voice, intelligent songs and ability to transform a huge venue into an intimate space mark her out as a singular talent” Folk Radio UK

“…inspiring, spellbinding and most importantly an excellent example of accomplished penmanship” The Line Of Best Fit

“Delicate, thoughtful and precise… one of the most fascinating female talents we’ve come across” For Folks Sake

“The true star of a stage positively brimming with quality. Authentic, unpretentious and lightened by Ms Dadd’s loveable persona” Venue Magazine

“Absolutely staggering” Julian Peck, Sunday Best

See more about Rachael Dadd on her website 

and check out her Facebook page here


see her session by clicking on the maplogo-HS icon or go to videos!