High 5, with Rachel Alice Johnson

Rachel Alice Johnson, a Scottish/New Zealand, Edinburgh College of Art student/singer-songwriter creates songs with an ethereal, pop-rock sound with her band. Inspired by artists such as Lana Del Rey and Wolf Alice, Rachel and her band have defined their unique sound with some euphoric harmonics. Rachel’s debut single, Open Angel, is out December 3, with the launch show taking place the same evening at the Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh College of Art. It’s an all-female line-up and tickets are £3 online – click here to buy – or £5 on the door. Doors open at 7pm.

  • Favourite film?

Probably Moulin Rouge. I love the costumes, the glamour, the art direction and the music. I’m normally not one for musicals, however I loved how they incorporated classic songs into beautiful melodies. I remember watching it for the first time with my brother when I was about 11, and later choreographing dances to Lady Marmalade with my friends in school. It’s still my favourite film… 11-year-old me had good taste.

  • 10171658_686997691341310_3180956695013031397_nFavourite single?

I actually don’t really buy singles, I buy LPs, as I’m quite decisive about what music I like and want to invest in. However, my favourite song is Cruel World by Lana Del Rey from her Ultraviolence album. I love the opening retro-sounding guitar, the reverb on the drums, the lyrics and of course Lana’s liquid-gold vocals. Two summers ago I listened to that song on repeat all day which inspired me to write Open Angel.

  • Favourite album?

It’s hard to pinpoint one album as I have a few favourites, but at the top of the list is Brothers by The Black Keys. Again, they create quite retro reverb-heavy music, but I love how they give space on their songs to emphasise the sounds of their instruments, like on Everlasting Light and These Days.

  • Favourite gig?

I saw Lana Del Rey at Glasgow’s SECC in 2013, and to this day I still have not got over it. The atmosphere she generated on stage was magical. I felt as though I was in a trance watching her perform. It was truly captivating.

  • Favourite book?

Probably About A Boy by Nick Hornby. I love Hornby’s style of writing, and the effectiveness of his sense of humour coming to life across the page. It balances out the heavier aspects of the novel, and gives the characters a solid ground of personality – a likeableness. It’s quite rare that I laugh out loud reading novels, but this book kept me cackling.