Article by Megan Vineberg
The long-awaited 2 AM has just been released by Rachel Bochner this past weekend… I’ll say this much: when we say we want a true no-skip record, this is what we mean. You’ve heard the iconic ‘Strangest Dreams’, when first introducing Rachel to our viewership, but two new tracks were released with this EP, entitled ‘Ultraviolet’ and ‘Lucky Charms’. To me, Strangest Dreams is the strongest on the record but hey, what do I know? Of course, I can see why fans are loving ‘Ultraviolet’. You’ve heard ‘Pick Me Up,’ which is great as well. What makes this record something I love to sift through is that every song acts as a stand-alone one, and that is exactly the formula to a successful album or EP release. In short, Bochner nailed this one to the wall.
My personal favorite on the record for reasons is Lucky Charms, and to my surprise, it was marked as starred before listening. This usually shows up when a song is heavily listened to, and/or favorited by fans on Apple Music. I streamed Lucky Charms, and I just knew—this would be the one I would have on repeat for weeks at a time.
You can very much tell Bochner has a background in working within the business side of the music industry, interning through record labels in the A&R department. The visuals all throughout take me to spots like only a local New Yorker could, and I immediately feel the city nostalgia. The aesthetic surrounding the album is violet day dreams, very fitting for the overarching theme.
Bochner stated in a previous interview with When The Horn Blows that the record covers the topic of having strange, and extremely vivid dreams. I think that’s why I like Strangest Dreams so much, being that I can relate to it easiest. Starting with 2 AM, we see Bochner in a relationship that she enjoys but that maybe isn’t the best for her— with the “push and pull” dynamic they have.
I can’t think straight when you get close to me / I wanna chase the high til I forget that nothing good ever happens after 2 AM / here we go again / like I don’t know from before how the story ends
Bochner’s lyrics are especially conversational, and that’s what I enjoy most about them. You’re able to pick up on little things here and there, even without all the bells and whistles. Bochner says ‘Pick Me Up’ explores having feelings for someone who she may be best without. Although recognizing the relationship is temporary and a little unhealthy, she decides to savor the moment anyway. Their time together is fleeting, and she wants to make the most of it. This person seems to be a source of comfort for her.
Then we have ‘Strangest Dreams,’ which explains itself. We all have those outlandish dreams that wake you up in a sweat. The song is something like that of being in REM state, the vocals even picking up on the oddity of the dreamscape. It’s crazy where our mind will go when we’re at our most relaxed in a state of rest. Bochner states the song came from a few too many late nights, subsequently leading to having “vivid, bizarre dreams.” This then leads me to ‘Ultraviolet,’ which upkeeps the dreamy, ethereal sound coming from the previous.
I really, really enjoy the intro, and the lead up to the chorus on Ultraviolet.
I try to keep my composure / but you’re moving closer / Your smile cuts through the quiet / and I can’t hide it
‘Lucky Charms’ invigorates the record, ending it on a hopeful, nostalgic note. It even plays around with the keys you hear on Chelsea Cutler and Jeremy Zucker records.
You bring me back to the room / Back, back, back to mid June / You pulled me closer to you
‘Lucky Charms’ seems to explore the feeling of a steady, strong relationship between two people, but what I love is that it explores anxiety and fear and how you can have certain people in life that simply calm things down for you or make you feel like everything will be alright with a simple reminder to be in the moment, to take a deep breath, and to take in your surroundings all at once.
The thing about Rachel is that when you listen to her music, she doesn’t compare to larger artists in my opinion. She stands in her own right, and that is the ultímate key. Some may say you need the chords of Mariah or Whitney, but I say it’s creating the most authentic version of your art and seeing it through. Bochner’s hope is to inspire others regardless of the subject matter, even when it’s just her strange dreams.
You can expect a series of music videos for ‘2 AM’ to be released via Long Story Productions.
Need I say more?