Raised in Chicago, Baiman made her way to Nashville at 18 with the dream of being a professional fiddle player and has since released two solo records and an EP, alongside session and side-person work with Kacey Musgraves, Kevin Morby, and Molly Tuttle among many others. As a songwriter, she has garnered a reputation for her specific brand of political and personal lyricism, which Vice’s Noisey described as ‘Flipping off Authority one note at a time”.
“When I was a kid, my dad was in this tiny fringe political group called Democratic Socialists of America” explains songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman. “That was considered really extreme, and something I didn’t tell my friends about. Now my generation has had to wake up to the intensity of our own economic oppression. We sit around talking about how anyone affords to buy a house, and how we can get rich people to pay for our albums”, she laughs. Baiman finds hope in this shared experience as a mechanism for activism. On Common Nation of Sorrow, Baiman’s third LP, she tells stories of American capitalism, and the individual and communal devastation it manifests.
In contrast with her previous work, Baiman is the sole producer of Common Nation of Sorrow. After recording for twelve days in Nashville with Grammy-Award-winning engineer Sean Sullivan, Baiman traveled to Portland, OR, where she spent two weeks mixing the record with famed engineer and producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket/The Decemberists/First Aid Kit).
On “Common Nation of Sorrow”, Baiman has found a production style to match her straightforward writing. Baiman displays a certain self-awareness and comfort with the inability to be all things, while simultaneously pushing to new heights with her message, and delivering a heartbreaking, albeit beautiful, assessment of her country.