Follow Friday: Arum Rae
    • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2014

    • Posted by: K. Hess

    Did you know that the lily flower is technically a weed? The term "weed" actually has no botanical significance, and being that the term isn't outlined scientifically the definition is more a collection of connotations that can be boiled down to something like this: one that grows aggressively, quickly adapts, and survives in a variety of habitats. Arum Rae, who gets her name from the Latin term for lily, comes in much the same package.

    Arum is currently planted in Brooklyn, but she's grown in various terrain, including Austin and Boston. Arum moved around a lot growing up, and found herself at home in the music programs of her schools and communities, until finally finding a home at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. "All of my moving around has infused me with a lot of different influences"—her vocal styling scratches jazz acts like Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone all the way to the more pop sounds of Joss Stone and KT Tunstall. "Music reflects the geography of where it comes from, so each place had something unique that I've taken. The constant transition can help with writing because it causes me to be open and flexible... which leads to vulnerability, which leads to emotion, which hopefully ends up in a song.

    "Let's Shake," Arum's latest single off her upcoming EP Waving Wild, definitely conjures the urban wild that is Brooklyn's geographical make up. It's Black Keys blues rock with Beyoncé—the Queen Bey is another one of Arum's influences—attitude. Think all the femme rock fun of The Donnas cut with jazz training.

    "Let's Shake" is just one example of the corners that Arum's blues rock pop touches, another corner of her cannon rests in a much more soulful place, trading amped up guitar riffs for bass riffs, and wild high energy for wild intensity: basically subtract The Donnas, and fill the empty space with a bass hugging Fiona Apple. You can get a broader feel for Arum's vulnerability on her last EP, released in April, Warranted Queen:

    I suppose her musical style is best represented by the host of impressive acts Arum has shared the stage with; musical legends like Willie Nelson, Rodriguez, BB King, and more contemporary legends like Dan Auerbach, Gary Clarke Jr., Peter Bjorn & John, and The Civil Wars.

    Follow Arum Rae on facebook or her twitter handle, @ArumRae. Or just follow her for real, and catch her on tour.

    Arum's Waving Wild EP drops in full on November 4th.

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