By Nicole Hanratty
Posted May 13, 2013
Rebecca Perl is on a “Rendezvous” with music of the folk revival kind and she has been a busy girl. “Good busy,” she says. Her new album was just released on the 28th of April, she played a Comedy for a Cause benefit on May 9th, and the artist just finished playing multiple tour dates from New Jersey to DC with Ryan Cabrera, Tyler Hilton, and Teddy Geiger–three boys she calls “fun” and “flirty.”
The singer songwriter credits her pursuit of a career in music to extended family get-togethers that always involved guitar playing and sing alongs, the support of her family and friends from both middle and high school showing up for her first showcase event on Long Island, and being inspired by her “favorite artist of all time” John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band.
I asked Rebecca straight away about the tour with the boys, which she said was not a caravan but commented that she wished it had been. “I think that might have been fun,” she told me. Her voice over the phone conveyed a sincerity of sweetness one cannot feign and her adventurous “caravan” spirit came through immediately.
“When you’re on the road what are three things that we could most assuredly find with you at all times?” I asked Rebecca. “Good question. Definitely my iPhone. Definitely my guitar,” she replied without hesitation. She gave the third thing a bit of thought trying to come up with something that she “can’t live without.” Her final conclusion was “a chocolate bar” and I realized two questions into the interview, Rebecca Perl was my kind of girl.
Of course I couldn’t help but ask her if she was with Ryan Cabrera when he got the now infamous Ryan Gosling tattoo on his leg. “That did not happen while he was with me. I actually didn’t even know that he has this tattoo. This is new news to me,” Rebecca said with a giggle. “I’m upset I didn’t even know this. That is the coolest tattoo I’ve ever heard of. He’s got a lot of tattoos. The coolest one that he has is underneath his arm. I think he has The Beatles silhouetted walking across his arm, which is the coolest thing ever.”
Aside from being fun and flirty to hang out with backstage, Rebecca said Ryan, Teddy and Tyler taught her a lot. “I used to have a few drinks before I went on stage anywhere I was performing because it loosened me up a little bit and I got to the first show with them and everyone’s drinking tea and hot water and I’m like, uh-oh, I’m missing something. I’m the real newbie here that still has beers before going on a stage.” The boys converted Rebecca into a tea drinker and she now has an affinity for green tea. “I was never much of a tea drinker and I think after that little tour I became a tea drinker.”
Listening to Rebecca Perl’s songs reminded me a bit of Emily Kinney’s music, (the singer songwriter / actress best known for the role she plays as “Beth Greene” on The Walking Dead). Both of these artists write music that tell personal stories with a theatrical–almost written for a movie scene–feel. I asked Rebecca if she had spent time in the theatre or if musicals influenced her songwriting in any way.
Rebecca Perl “Before I Fall” on YouTube Music Videos
“I do like theater,” said Rebecca. “I’ve been to a lot of shows growing up. My mom was a big theater person so she used to bring me to shows all the time. I also was in a little acting school when I was five and six in my hometown on Long Island. I’m definitely familiar with show tunes and things like that and I think that I probably got some influence when it comes to story telling from there and setting the scene. It’s funny because most people could say that they can hear my music in a movie or even in a commercial that tells a story because they do tell stories from front to back. There’s always a lesson to be learned or there’s always something to be said about each and every song.”
In “So Good to Me” Rebecca sings about wanting to be good to someone whom has been good to her. I asked Rebecca who generally has been good to her in her life. “I’ve been treated well, I think, by most people in my life because I like to treat other people well. I think it’s important,” shared Rebecca. “When it comes to family, friends, even, strangers. I have this habit of bumping into people I’ve never met before but at the same time connecting with them just as much as I connect with someone I’ve known for fifteen years. You’ll find songs like that in the album also. ‘Nothing But a Lot’ is a track that is the epitome of that. Bumping into someone you’ve never met but opening up and being able to tell a side of you that maybe you don’t want to tell to someone that you’ve known forever.”
“Nothing But a Lot” is a great example of the sort of relatable lyrics and storytelling Rebecca Perl’s style imbues and instantly I connected with what she was saying, “Like when you meet someone on an airplane and you just start talking?”
“Yeah, exactly,” she replied, “or you’re sitting at a bar and someone’s sitting next to you or while you’re standing in line at a mall and you get into a conversation.” “I like that it all comes back to cocktails with you Rebecca,” I told her and we both laughed. “I know. I realize that I’ve been saying that a lot. I’m not a drunk, I swear,” she said giggling. It was an endearing moment. “Totally okay with me if you are,” I said, “because we can go have cocktails together.” Rebecca laughed, “That’s perfect.”
Rebecca’s song “Better” contains beautiful lyrics that convey an enviable relationship: “You make me better than I’ve ever been and I’m always a winner inside your arms.” I asked her, “Who makes you a better person?” Her answer to this question still lingers in my thoughts. “People who make me better are the ones that tell me to still chase after my dreams,” she replied. “They tell me to keep going and never give up.”
We also chatted about her song “Sticky” where Rebecca sings about hating confrontation–another highly relatable theme. “That song is actually a cute story. I do hate confrontation,” she explained. “I think everybody that knows me knows that I hate to say no to things and I hate to turn my back on things… That was about actually dating two boys at once. (laughs). Being at a bar once again … Jeez, I’m at a bar everywhere now, [laughter] but … I’m at a bar and I meet somebody and I’m enjoying it and another guy that I was dating walks in and sees it. I don’t want to have to say, ‘This is how it is.’ I’d rather sort of ignore the situation and try to avoid it. [laughter] Which is not always the best way, but I do do that sometimes.”
Which song title did she choose to describe her personality (my signature question)? “Jeez, there’s so many songs in the world. Maybe … Oh, man. Maybe “Change the World” by Eric Clapton. I write music because not only does it help me with what I’m going through and just purely enjoying the act of songwriting and creating melodies and things like that, but I also hope that whoever’s listening to it is changed in a way or is helped in a way. I truly just want to put out anything good and anything helpful to anybody.” One thing is certain, listening to Rebecca Perl’s “Rendezvous” album is certain to change the world one smile at at a time.
FUN QUESTIONS FOR REBECCA
Nicole: What is your favorite brand of jeans?
Rebecca: Probably J Brand jeans. I love them.
Nicole: I think most of us have reached for a spoon and a quart of ice cream post a bad break-up. If you were reaching for a quart of ice cream which flavor would it be?
Rebecca: Oh, wow. It would probably be Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter or what’s the other one that I like? Phish Food, where they have those little pieces of chocolate and all that.
Nicole: All time favorite book?
Rebecca: I’m actually reading a book right now that I really love. It’s by Emily Giffin “Love the One You’re With.”
Nicole: What’s the last album you downloaded or purchased?
Rebecca: The Justin Timberlake album, the other day.
Nicole: Do you have a favorite song on it?
Rebecca: Probably “Mirrors” although each song is really like two songs. They’re like eight minutes long.
REBECCA PERL AND CHARITY
The charitable singer songwriter recently combined forces with comedians to play Comedy for a Cause last week where she shared her voice singing at a comedy club for the benefit. Next week Rebecca Perl will be playing the Z100 Hosted Thomas Nicholas Acoustic Benefit Show on May 23rd at City Winery in New York to help raise funds for Musicians on Call.
Rebecca Perl was recently asked to sing the National Anthem for her hometown team, the NY Islanders. She is set to play the Great Outside Music Festival on Long Island.