HER CROOKED HEART is the new music of Rachel Ries – multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, rock & roll choir director, sideman, singer. Her Crooked Heart’s debut EP, To Gentlemen, and forthcoming album, To Love To Leave To Live, feature members of Bon Iver, co-producer Shane Leonard and string arrangements by the inimitable Rob MooseTLTLTL will be release May 2019.

 Along with numerous and diverse collaborators through the years – including Hadestown mastermind, Anaïs Mitchell – Rachel has proven herself ever-curious to expand her sound, her scope, and sail on past the confines of ‘singer-songwriter.’ After all, sometimes what the heart wants is poetry and a syncopated horn line; a string section and a bass synth – all leaving exultation and devastation in their wake.

But one thing has remained true since RR’s first homespun release: her sly and compassionate voice, excavating the depths of an all-too-human heart, armed with levity and a pen. It’s the messy humanity that’s of interest here. The trying and failing; the loving and losing and loving again.

 Rachel is a 2018 Rauschenberg 3Arts Fellow and a recipient of two 2019 MN Arts Board Grants: Arts Initiative and Arts on Tour. 


Rachel Ries [aka Her Crooked Heart] has a sensibility as familiar and comforting as it is surprising. At one turn, she's got the vocal prowess of Tori Amos; at another, the complexity of a Radiohead tune. TO LOVE TO LEAVE TO LIVE is a record I've not stopped playing since I first heard it, and one I can anticipate revisiting for many years to come

– Amy Reitnouer, Executive Director, The Bluegrass Situation

NPR Weekend Edition Sunday Interview w Rachel Martin

...her clear voice, imbued with, at various turns, strength and fragility, incorporates folk-country and jazz influences. – No Depression

A gorgeous gush of warm-blooded harmonies – Uncut

Ghost of a Gardener is a technicolor treasure, in word and melody – Maverick UK

Setting her apart from many of her peers are the adventurous and compelling instrumental arrangements of her sweetly poetic material – 8/10, Exclaim!

...mesmerizing songs that approach the dark magic of Marilynne Robinson's novel "Housekeeping" – NJ Star-Ledger

Rachel is also an accomplished educator and uncommon choir director who believes everyone has a voice. She works to make art accessible to people of all ages and abilities through her tailor-made educational offerings. Learn how you can work together here.

Rachel is a passionate, creative, and thoughtful teacher. she brings a deep empathy and enthusiasm to the students that she works with. It's obvious that she cares deeply about all aspects of the student experience, from the pedagogical to the personal.

– Corey Harrower, Assistant Director, Vermont Governor's Institute on the Arts