Erin Rae – Putting on Airs (4​-​Track Demos)

There’s something invasive about hearing song demos. It gives a contextual look at the minimal scaffolding of a particular song but it also provides a stripped down, bare bones, version that often emphasizes the emotion of a song better than the final version. That’s a subjective take of course, most songs get fleshed out and detailed in a way that makes them more enjoyable than a bedroom take but that’s an argument for another day.

Erin Rae’s Putting on Airs was released back in June of 2018 and is a layered and emotive hybrid of classic country with a twinge of psychedelia. In May of 2019 she released the The 4-Track Demos, a collection of early takes done as acoustic, bedroom demos. As you’d suspect, they are more lo-fi in production and missing most of the flourishes of their ultimate counterparts but there’s a shocking amount of depth here for a demo. There are plenty of harmonies in place and the emotional intent behind the songs is front and center. Much to their credit, these recordings are enjoyable on their own; not just as comparative material.

Plenty of starting musicians post their demos when they’re starting out as it may be the only recordings that they have to represent themselves at the time but Rae makes a case here that giving fans insight into your process, even once you’re established, can be downright delightful.