Nearly one year ago, Rachel Williams left the popular psych-rock outfit Sleepy Sun, abandoned her acoustic solo project Birds Fled From Me, and moved from the Bay Area to Los Angeles’ hip Echo Park.
Over the past year, the wide-eyed, freckled musician took a new stage name, Fannan (an old Irish family name), and founded a new four-piece, all-girl band, simply called Only You.
“Having an all-girl group was a great enough fantasy for me to want to hold out for,” she says. “It’s been nice to have the same people playing with me for all my shows and not have to do everything myself.”
The group – featuring Micayla Grace (bass/vocals), Cecilia Della Peruti (guitar/vocals) and Lia Braswell (drums) – is heavy, electric and raw but still caresses Fannan’s infatuation with falling in love, which is a common occurrence for her.
One of the band’s newest tunes, “Only You,” combines crunchy garage rock with endearing three-part harmonies. Fannan’s voice arrives as a force that sounds like it can stop a train, which is only more unexpected considering her petite frame.
But for someone so in love with the idea of love, pain is something the 25-year-old has also had to deal with. In fact, three weeks ago, Fannan’s boyfriend of a year broke up with her in a text message.
“I’m back on the market,” she says, “and I’m not too exhausted to think about love because that’s not my style. I’m making a conscious decision not to write about [the break-up] because I don’t want to pay homage to someone who took advantage of my willingness [or] the bitterness of being dumped.”
Instead, Fannan is going in a route directly contrary to the Kurt Cobain-depression songwriting style: She’s currently focusing her attention on writing a tune about her ideal fantasy guy and hopes, in this case, life will imitate art.
Christina Bailey, longtime local talent and member of the all-girl band honeymoon, and Lisa Forkish, an Oakland-based singer-songwriter and music educator, rounds out the estrogen-driven show.
RACHEL FANNAN, LISA FORKISH and CHRISTINA BAILEY perform 7pm Wednesday, Nov. 23, at the Alternative Cafe, 1230 Fremont Blvd., Seaside. $5. 583-0913.