Hot Artist Alert: Rachel Oto crafts melancholic “saloon-rock” for the lost soul in us all

Rachel Oto

Singer/songwriter Rachel Oto has built the beginnings of her career on a very precise “saloon-rock” style—and nowhere in her discography is that raw, drifting melancholy more apparent than on her newest single, “Road Song.” A far cry from the all-girl, pop-rock band she held together in high-school, Oto’s latest is a consuming swell of lamenting vibraphones, acoustic guitar weepings, and a soul-piercing medley of strings—all of which is weaved along in heartbroken-beauty by Oto’s sad murmurs.


“Road Song” follows Oto’s 2016 EP Run which, while holding the same thematic inspirations carried in her songs—from medieval ballads, Westerns, ‘70s rock and her brother’s middle school CD collection—has taken on a greater emotional depth both sonically and lyrically. The new single was inspired itself from the tumultuous emotional experience Oto had while on tour and from the “deep devastation” of lost love—and the result is a heartfelt, twinkle-of-a-dark-star of songwriting that calls to mind in the likes of Johnny Cash and Ennio Morricone.

“You collect all these ghosts on the road–these phantoms that you can’t shake and end up bringing home with you,” Oto said of the new song. “And if you’re lucky, some of them turn into songs.”

Listen to Rachel Oto’s new song “Road Song.”

Be on the look-out for new music by Oto as she’s currently in the studio working on an upcoming EP.

Visit Rachel Oto’s Instagram, website and Facebook to stay updated on new music and tour announcements.

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