by Paul Bowers
All is not well for Rachel Kate Gillon, co-bandleader of cowgirl folk-singers the Local Honeys. Beneath her effervescent stage presence and beyond the sweet harmonies she creates with her friends and bandmates, she’s been crafting songs of hate of late.
Gillon travelled to Columbia recording studio the Jam Room in July to record 10 tracks for a new album called Rachel Kate with Love and Hate. “I thought it would be cool to record my weird folk album at a place that normally does a lot of metal bands,” Gillon says. “It maybe helped me bring out the darker side.”
The recordings feature Local Honeys bandmates Brad Edwardson on bass and Sarah Bandy on backup vocals, plus some musicians from the Columbia scene on cello, accordion, and drums. Unfortunately, you can’t hear the recordings yet. Gillon needs some money to pay for mastering, and she says she might start a Kickstarter campaign after the holidays to fund it.
Gillon has been a Charleston favorite for the last two years, for one reason or another. In the 2011 City Paper Music Awards, readers chose her now-defunct band the Shaniqua Brown as Metal/Punk Band of the Year. This year, the Honeys took the honors for Up-and-Coming Artist of the Year.
What to expect from the new solo album? “It’s mostly minor-key and depressing,” Gillon says. “But I don’t know, there’s hope. I think that’s why it’s Love and Hate. A lot of things I wouldn’t say regularly, I put them in there to release them.” The tracks include songs she’s been playing live recently, like “Hell Is Your Home” and “Nobody’s Fool,” plus a song called “Dancing Shoes” that her father and a friend wrote for their daughters.