Rachel Ries "Words" on Exclaim! TV

Rachel Ries "Words" on Exclaim! TV
Singer-songwriter Rachel Ries was raised by Mennonites, and while popular culture depicts that denomination as old-fashioned, Ries is anything but.

See, old-fashioned suggests an unwillingness to give up the past. While her tunes touch on Americana, folk and alt-country, she's definitely not afraid to add some synths, woodwinds, strings and a glockenspiel into the mix to expand her sound beyond those genres' restricting confines.

However, for this Exclaim! TV session, Ries restricted the expansiveness of her recent LP, Ghost of a Gardener, opting instead for a bare bones guitar and vocal take. Watch her stripped-down performance of "Words" on Exclaim! TV.

Noticeably free of the piano, brass and drumming featured on the album version, this performance also trades in the track's poppy bounce for a more introspective restraint that slowly builds to an energetic climax — one the recorded song reaches much earlier — and brings a whole new slew of emotions to the surface.

The South Dakotan, who currently calls Vermont and New York her homes, will be coming to Toronto for North By Northeast, where she'll be performing at the Rivoli on June 21. Until then, watch "Words" in the player below.

Video by Roberto Granados-Ocon
Edited by Bradley Zorgdrager