Classically trained on piano and “smoky, sweet and verbose (in the best ways)” (Scoutmob), Rachel Zylstra is a singer-songwriter who turns phrases on themes of longing, uncertainty, God, faith, and finding one’s place.
Raised in the Great Lakes states, Rachel moved to New York City in her early 20s, gaining a dedicated following playing small cozy clubs on its Lower East Side. During this time she recorded frequently, collaborated with musicians she admired, and toured regionally. Over the course of four self-released albums, luscious strings, bass, drums, and harmonies have come to accompany her trademark plaintive alto and intricate piano riffs.
In 2015 Rachel released The Tacit Turn. Described by No Depression and “piano-based stories that meld old soul and new learning.. stories… of a gorgeous mistake,” The Tacit Turn was NYC-stamped, deeply personal, and brought to life with the talents of bassist Russ Wedelich and drummer Alex Paul. Rachel left NYC to tour the album full-time, criss-crossing the US three times to bring the music to theatres, homes and churches across the country.
In early 2016, drawn by a mysterious hunch and desire for adventure, Rachel traded a decade of big city striving for a one-way plane ticket – to Scotland. Where she knew the lonely beauty of the landscape would surely inspire, the wild outcome was finding a new home, marrying, and settling into family life.
Parallel to big personal change, Rachel continues to write new music, record, and play concerts as permitted! January 2021 sees the release of a new long-gestating album of hymns and sacred songs, On Faith.
Interested in hosting Rachel for a concert in your venue, home, or church, conditional and adherent to ever-changing governmental and public health mandates? If yes, Rachel would love to hear from you. Send an email if you’d like to enquire.