Somewhere at the crossroads of folk, roots, blues and jazz sits Rachel Taylor-Beales, an accomplished singer songwriter, multi instrumentalist and activist advocating for issues of social justice, human rights and ecology. Her song-line narratives merge her own life story with that of folklore tales as well as keen observation of the world around her. These songs blend quirky melody and sublime harmony and are driven by her crystalline voice.
Since her debut Brilliant Blue, Rachel has shared stages across the world with leading folk and roots artists performing in all kinds of locations. Her successive releases have gained much recognition, including BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris describing her Red Tree album as ‘Highly Recommended.’ Acclaimed folk website Spiral Earth hailed her Dust and Gold album as ‘a seamless soundtrack to her personal journey and a glowing fulfillment of her artistry", while Folk Radio UK praised Rachel’s latest release Stone’s Throw, Lament Of The Selkie, as “Exceptional” listing it as one of the best albums of 2015.
In May 2012 while on tour in Italy, Rachel's life took a dramatic change of direction when during a sound-check, she fell from a 1.5 metre stage onto marble flooring and injured her hip and back. To make matters worse Rachel was 5 months pregnant at this time. Fortunately her baby was unharmed but Rachel's mobility was severely impacted and the process of recovery took several years of physiotherapy before her body could handle playing, singing, performing and touring again. Over the next 3 years (in between sleep deprivation, regaining mobility and all the challenges and joys of parenting) Rachel began to work on a new project that was to become her fourth studio album, a folklore concept tale entitled Stone’s Throw - Lament Of The Selkie. The songs are inspired by the mythological Selkie (Seal-folk) stories from the Orkney Isles and chart the tragic story of Selkie, who over the arc of the narrative finds herself struggling and unable to sustain life on land with her land-bound lover and eventually returns to the sea leaving her partner grief stricken with his loss.
In Summer of 2015 Rachel was finally able to get back on the road again and began performing live shows off the back of the release of Stone's Throw Lament Of The Selkie. This project has continued to develop and in 2018 Rachel was awarded research and development funding from Arts Council Wales to explore combining the album with elements of her own autobiographical story into a multi art-form gig theatre show. 2019 saw a further award from Arts Council Wales for the full scale production of Stone’s Throw, Lament of The Selkie, that is touring theatre and festival venues in 2019- 2020. Aside from the new adventures into storytelling and gig- theatre, Rachel continues to perform solo as well as with her collective of highly talented musicians for shows that include multi-instrumentation, projected visuals, and spine-tingling vocal harmony. Rachel is currently working on her 5th studio album that is set for release in 2020.
“Exceptional” Folk Radio UK
“Outstanding” BBC Radio Wales
“Musically exquisite and enthralling” BBC Radio 4
“Excellent and original” Folking.com