The Bellingham, Washington-based folk/Americana duo Raveis Kole have a new album called In The Moment – and the cover art makes me want to immediately move to the stunningly beautiful Glacier Peak area.
Laurie Raveis and Dennis Kole have the vocal and songwriting chops that demonstrate how folk is still a vital force in American music. The new album covers a lot of stylistic ground, from the haunting “Glacier” to the life-affirming “So Nice” (a track that features perhaps the best whistling ever recorded).
If you’re tired of gimmicky glitch-pop, Raveis Kole reminds us that music of substance is still very much alive.
“Gotcha” feels kinda like a Broadway song. Have you ever written for theatre?
Dennis Kole: We both love Broadway songs and the interplay of infusing memorable lyrics and stories with captivating melodies and harmonies. “Gotcha” certainly gives a nod to Broadway as we intentionally used vivid lyrics, a quick tempo, and a compelling descending crescendo to impart a sense of drama and excitement to encourage people to feel the energy and to sing along. We have not yet written directly for theatre, but every song that we write tells a story that we hope will resonate with our audience.
“Sun Eclipsed By The Moon” is a fabulous song. And who came up with the beautiful attire seen in the single art for that song? Your wardrobe is incredible!
Laurie Raveis: Thank you! The words are flowing, then drifting, and ultimately leading to the radical acceptance of our true place in time and the world. We are all stardust. The cover art serves as part of our artistic expression and to add a visual layer on top of the words and music. My long silk, flowy geometrical dress, my grandmother’s charm bracelet along with Dennis’ bursting cosmic shirt add the stardust vibe as we house ourselves in the “sun eclipsed by the moon.”
Was it difficult doing the whistle track on “So Nice”?
Laurie Raveis: We were in the studio listening to some of the unmixed vocal tracks and I started to spontaneously whistle along with the mix. Our Austin co-producer, Matt Smith, said “that’s great – go back out in the studio and let’s record that!” The vocal mics were still set up and it was a one-take wonder! After the fact, when performing live it is a bit more of a juggling act. Intermingling singing with whistling while also playing the guitar has taken some practice to master, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge!
Where do people in their teens and twenties find folk music? TikTok is overflowing with “bedroom pop” from 16-year-olds, but where do young listeners discover folk music like yours?
Laurie Raveis: Although online is the place where most discovery happens, we’ve found community and local radio are a great way to tap into your own community of artists, DJs, and discovery in a different way.
Dennis Kole: Young listeners are initially most likely to discover folk music because their parents listen to it, or because they are exposed to it at festivals, summer camps, etc. I think that one of the beautiful elements of the folk music tradition is its inclusiveness. When young people want to go beyond just listening to music, when they want to make music themselves and to share making music with others, folk music offers a safe and inclusive meeting place and community. When that time comes, organizations such as Folk Alliance International serve as a convenient entry point for finding and connecting within this global community.