I am sipping coffee at one of my favorite coffee shops in
town and am supposed to be writing an article when a wave
of sensation rushes my consciousness unlike anything I have
ever felt before. This audible stimulation is wrapped in the
smoothest vocals and is purely feminine. The lyrics say everything
I have ever wanted to say as a writer and I am mesmerized.
I cannot write, I can only listen for I feel as if I am closer
to understanding what it means to be human via singer-songwriter
Rachel Merchand. No, she is not related to Natalie Merchant
and no she does not sound like Jewel, Sarah McLauchlan or
any of the other female musicians in main stream music. Merchand's
music is a genre within itself and unparagoned with acoustic
guitar and honest perspective.
With a voice that charmingly evokes the human experience,
Merchand's paints the world in all of its allure and invites
you to come along for the ride. If life had a soundtrack,
I would want it be Merchand's album New Versions of Me.
- Helana Brigman, Promoter & Columnist
One of my closest friends and I have had numerous discussions
over the years of the state of Christian music. I've had to
grudgingly agree, frankly: Christian music has not really
been up to the par that it should be lately. But there's a
new generation of artists who love the Lord that are making
extraordinary tunes with uncommon soul.
Rachel Merchand, a Vermont native now gracing the city of
Charlotte, NC, is one. Last night I had the privilege of attending
a thirty-minute set of hers at the Jammin' Java Coffee House
in downtown Columbia, and was blown away. Having found a link
to her page on MySpace, which automatically begins streaming
the artist's songs, I sat stunned and delighted that a woman
with this kind of voice and acoustic rock talent was using
it in the Lord's service.
I'm not the kind of person that just goes to a show and buys
a CD. In fact, I'm not usually the kind of person that goes
to a show. But I'm glad I made this one—and the disc
I bought, Rachel's 2003 EP New Version of Me, is one I'm glad
to have added to my collection. The sound system at the coffee
house was acceptable for a live venue, but doesn't do justice
to this young lady's voice and talent wielding a guitar.
Her heart-felt love for God and the talent with which He
has graciously endowed her both shine through, live or on
the EP available from Steelroots. Two thumbs up.
- Michael Phillips, ThinkBlog.org
- - -
"It(My Love) is lyrically directional and evoking,
as well as musically anticipatory. I love how clean Rachel's
songs are while lush with associations, emotion and atmosphere
inducing tones. A certain audibly colorful mesmerizing consistency
in each song."
- Maxim Vakhovskiy, Charlotte, NC
"I saw you playing at the Carptenter's Cellar on Friday
night and I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed
it.....you are one of the best people I've heard there so
- Raquel Paulino, Greenville, SC
"We were extremely blown away by her vocal talent and
song writing ability..."
- Krista Lawson, The Potters Cafe
"Rachel Merchand's voice truly captivates, taking one
to another where things move more slowly, where you can catch
your breath and just soak in the peace, softness and harmony
of her music. She's someone to keep an eye on, a definite
up and comer!"
- Mia Kim,