Delta Rae is one of those bands that defies being put into any genre. They are part Country, part folk and part Americana with a dash of rock, pop, soul and gospel in the mix too. The band is made up of three siblings, their best friend and two close friends. I saw them perform at the Big Machine UK showcase earlier in the week and had the pleasure of chatting to them on Friday ahead of their C2C: Country to Country 2018 performances. The band have been all over The O2 for the past couple of days and I managed to catch them on the BBC Radio 2 Stage yesterday morning.
Opening their set with an acapella version of Eagles’ hit Seven Bridges Road, the band launched into I Moved South from their EP A Long and Happy Life. Band members Liz Hopkins and Brittany Hölljes shared the lead vocals, with each bringing a completely different tone to their sound. Liz has a soulful, rockier voice whereas Brittany has a earthier tone with an incredible vibrato. The track is an upbeat one that got the audience at the Indigo dancing and singing along.
The title track from A Long and Happy Life was next and it’s was a real showcase for Liz’s vocals. She packs so much power and control, I couldn’t help but be mesmerised. Her tone is so rich and full, and you can tell she’s singing every single note from the depths of her soul. When band come together on the chorus, there’s such an organic chemistry and their raw natural talent just shines.
Over the course of their set, Delta Rae showcased every facet of their abilities. They put their own spin on Chris Stapleton’s recent hit Broken Halos, Brittany really shined on the gospel-tinged No Dry Eye in the Chapel and Eric Hölljes showcased his soulful vocals on The Wrong Ocean.
The two highlights for me were the gorgeous No Peace in Quiet, a song about a relationship coming to an end and the effects that has afterwards, and closing number Bottom of the River. The latter is a slice of Southern Gothic and it’s such an impact full track. Brittany takes on the lead vocals and by lord can the girl sing. With the backing of the band, including some seriously remarkable harmonies, she took us to church and back. I said it to the band of Friday, when they sing that song I feel like I’ve had a religious experience, and I’m not even religious.
Delta Rae are without a doubt my biggest surprise of the weekend. You can’t manufacture this kind of chemistry and talent, and they are truly remarkable. If you imagine Fleetwood Mac mixed with Little Big Town finished off with an edge of Jace Everett, you may get somewhere close to their sound. Delta Rae are truly unique and that makes them incredibly special. I can’t wait for everyone else to find out about them.
Set list: 1. Seven Bridges Road (Eagles) 2. I Moved South 3. A Long and Happy Life 4. The Wrong Ocean 5. No Dry Eye in the Chapel 6. No Peace in Quiet 7. Broken Halos (Chris Stapleton cover) 8. Bottom of the River Performance date: 10th March 2018