Musicians, singer-songwriters, and husband and wife, Rachael and Luke Price, are bringing back the feel-good vibes of classic Americana. On Love, DEAN’s self-titled debut, they’ve handcrafted a musical mosaic from vintage soul, Motown, old-time music, gospel, folk, and neo-soul. The self-titled album is themed around love and community, and coming of age milestones. It’s vibrant, personal, and it’s for everyone.
“This album is a love letter from us to anyone who listens. We’re hoping the listener feels let into our lives; that they can see value in music; value in people; and that they feel inspired to grow in their own lives and relationships. We leave space for grief, hardship and honesty but our target is encouragement and positivity in the midst of struggles,” Rachael says.
Rachael and Luke first met as Berklee College of Music students on the very first day of school. Rachael’s artistic perspective encompasses soul, gospel, and Americana. Luke is an accomplished fiddler steeped in old-time music, bluegrass, swing, and honky-tonk. From these varied backgrounds, the twosome nurtured a soul-pop aesthetic. “We want to connect with people, but we also like to keep things musically interesting. For example, there may be a section in 7, or a strange horn line or a complex drum fill or passage, but we never like these touches to take away from the song” Luke says. “We strive for something that feels familiar but has unexpected twists.”
The band began simply as DEAN! while Luke and Rachael were in college. They felt keen on the trusty and traditional overtones of the name. The couple also each had a beloved family member named Dean, and when they rebooted the project in Portland, Oregon, they modified the handle to Love, DEAN. A perfect addition that showcases the warmth within the group.
Love, DEAN is part of a creative community of musicians who drift in and out of each other’s projects and also come together to teach at music camps. “Our music comes from our experience and from the influence of our musical community which stretches across the country, from Boston, New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Portland,” Rachael says.
The warmly inviting single, Put A Record On, grooves with a Beatles-esque soulfulness. The track features Luke’s Pop Staples-like R&B guitar filigree, Rachael’s slow-burn vocals, dreamy organ playing, trippy atmospherics, and a deconstructed pocket drums and bass groove. Its lyrics are evocative and inclusive—lovingly snapshotting how music can be a sanctuary away from the onslaught of day-to-day living. Rachael sings: Finally by ourselves we shut the door/Every step creaks slowly cross this floor/Anticipation telling us it’s time /Hold me tight as Ray sings “Georgia On My Mind.” “We love listening to records together and with friends, and we wanted to celebrate all the beauty of those moments, tangible and intangible,” Rachael says.