On The Half We Still Have, Rachel Bobbitt’s remarkable new 4-track EP, the Toronto-based singer-songwriter has crafted a series of sharp and incisive character studies that slice through traditional notions of mythmaking and identity with unflinching honesty and emotion. Amid piercing intuition and fearless self-reflection, lies a transportive confessional that slides even deeper into the cutting observations she so vividly imagined on last year’s debut outing, The Ceiling Could Collapse.
“I wanted these songs to reflect the intense dynamics that take shape in relationships,” Rachel shared. “I’ve found in some relationships, you give and give, only to eventually lose yourself in the process. In those moments where we feel abandoned & hollow, a small sliver remains intact, preserved, and personal.”
Produced and mixed by Jorge Elbrecht (Sky Ferreira, Japanese Breakfast) at 80A Studios in Toronto, The Half We Still Have featured a tight-knit musical core: Rachel (vocals/guitar), her close musical partner, Justice Der (guitar/e-bow), Stephen Bennett (drums/percussion), Isaac Teague (bass), Sam Laramee (synth) along with Alex George (strings), who spent much of 2022 coalescing on the road. That well-earned cohesion (gleaned through headlining and supporting slots for Indigo DeSouza, Sunflower Bean, Men I Trust and Bad Bad Hats), combined with Elbrecht’s visionary production, helps give Rachel’s expansive bedroom, art-pop compositions their shimmering toughness.
“Two Bit,” the EP’s powerful opener, reflects on past intimate relationships, and how things that should be beautiful like physical intimacy can become confusing & claustrophobic. “I wrote “Two Bit” looking back on moments as a teenager where I ignored my gut because of the all-consuming feeling of a young relationship,” she acknowledged.
Likewise, “The Call’s Inside The House,” is a fearless contemplation on the often dark and
complex layers of familial relationships and self-preservation. “I wrote this song after being betrayed by a loved one, ” Rachel revealed. “It was something that made me reflect on what it truly means to love someone.”
“Marian,” a mesmerizing, 4-minute tightrope over life’s unrelenting ‘what ifs’, is brilliantly told from the comfortable distance of a third person perspective while “Clay Feet,” an obsessive tale of power dynamics and disenchantment, pulls on the EP’s illuminating thread further encapsulating Rachel’s remarkable gift for expressing universal truths in the tiniest of details. “The line ‘you can make my world as small as you want’ is both pleading and defeated,” she admits. “Resigning to what feels like a forgone conclusion.”
“Most of the moments I have had in my life that felt right, like they made sense, have been a result of human connection,” Rachel concludes. “It can be so beautiful, and it can also be desperate and damaging. I have had connections in my life that made me question the fundamentals of my character, and unfortunately, I don’t think that is uncommon. But throughout every complicated, demoralizing, or harmful relationship, there has always been that slice of myself that remained mine, even when I didn’t feel it. The Half We Still Have centers around that small piece, and the connections that threaten it.”
A searing, empathetic work of musical non-fiction, The Half We Still Have is the freshest example yet of Rachel Bobbitt’s bold musical voice and artistic creativity⎯and just hint of an emerging and immensely bright future to come.