Southern Indie singer-songwriter Erin Rae certainly seems to be making a huge impression on both sides of the Atlantic with NPR and The Independent premiering her new single “Bad Mind“. In the song, she shares a deeply personal account of coming to terms with a difficult event from her childhood, one that continues to shape her understanding of her own sexuality and mental health to this day.
Discussing the track at length, Rae says that “Bad Mind is about growing up in Tennessee in the 90s and early 2000s, which was a tough time and place for a girl to be learning about her own sexuality. A really significant event in my childhood occurred in 1996, when an Alabama court ruled my aunt to be an “unfit” mother, solely because she was gay. This was a court battle that went on for years, and as a result, my cousin, who was the same age as me and who I was very close with, was only able to see her mom every other weekend, and even then, only if my aunt’s partner left the house before she arrived.”
Rae continues “What grew out of that experience for me was a deep, underlying fear of being gay. I internalized the heartbreak that I saw my aunt and cousin endure, which made things incredibly difficult and confusing as I entered my pre-teen and teenage years, because if you were a girl in the South in 90s, you’re supposed to be getting crushes on boys. And when things didn’t necessarily happen that way for me, I spent my entire middle and high school years trying to get those feelings to go away. And even to this day, there is an anxiety that persists. So ‘Bad Mind’ is really about the need to heal, to peel back the layers and process it all, so that I can allow my true feelings to come to the surface.”
Putting on Airs is released June 8th via Single Lock Records. You can hear the title track from the album on our Folk Show here.