Nfld. & Labrador·First Listen

Rachel Cousins makes the shift to dance-pop in her sophomore EP

At 18 years, Rachel Cousins has released her second EP, with a move from from a folk-rock style to a more refined pop sound.

Have a First Listen to Rachel Cousins's new self-titled record

Eighteen-year-old Rachel Cousins has just released her sophomore EP. (Paula Gale/CBC)

Although Rachel Cousins is just fresh out of high school, the singer-songwriter already has a full-length second EP to her credit.

Cousins says her debut solo EP, This Fire, released in 2017, was more "folk-rock rooted" in style, but once she released her single, Let Go, people realized she was making a shift over to a dance-pop-electronic genre.

"This album was really important to me and I self-titled it just because, this was just kind of the statement to say, 'this is really what I want to do,'" she told CBC Radio's Weekend AM.

"And this is my new genre, and my new sound."

That sound is reflected on her new EP, Rachel Cousins

Self-discovery through songwriting

Growing up, Cousins said, she listened to all types of music. When she began working with producer Daniel Adams, she was introduced to a wide variety of other artists and styles.

"Some of my favourites are Maggie Rogers, but I also really love older stuff.… I listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac," she said. 

Cousins said she was quite involved in theatre and drama during her school years, but music was always something that she wanted to do.

While working on her two EPs, she experienced a number of self-discoveries.

There are seven tracks on Cousins's new record. (Rachel Cousins)

"Every song that I wrote, and going through high school and going through junior high, there were a lot of difficulties that I could never express in words," she said. 

"So writing songs was just the way that I dealt with things I was dealing with." 

Cousins said she was careful to not get too far mainstream on the new album, with some acoustic tracks like Hope To Bring added to the mix.

How did Rachel Cousins find a new sound? Listen as she explains to Weekend AM:

Rachel Cousins new self-titled EP will get you movin' on the dance floor 19:39

"I still very much, though, love just me and my acoustic guitar," she said. 

"And singer-songwriter kind of vibes — because lyrics are so very important to me. There's a lot of different influences on the album."

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About the Author

Lisa Gushue

CBC News

Lisa Gushue works with CBC News in the St. John's bureau.

With files from Paula Gale