Rachel is extraordinary for sixteen. She is a powerhouse personality, with tons of creative talent and drive – think Wednesday Addams’ precocious smarts mixed with Rainbow Bright’s kaleidoscopic color sense and the 1970s earthy vibe of one of her idols, Joni Mitchell. Rachel has been nurtured to be herself, and her freedom of expression, creatively and intellectually, is abundant. She has been playing the drums in her family’s traveling band since she was six, and I don’t think there are many her age with a handmade Syd Barrett hair clip (her favorite Pink Floyd member) and without a Facebook profile until this year (for work purposes only). Rachel has insight beyond her years, including a knack for converting every piece of clothing into something else, like the shirt that she sewed cuffs onto, ice skates that she made into shoes by sawing off the blades, and hair bows made from recycled plastic candy bags (the kind that chocolate chips and Hershey’s Kisses come in). Rachel attributes homeschooling to her voracious appetite for learning, with interests that range from a deep knowledge of classic rock (Led Zeppelin is her favorite band), judicial history, and open mic night at The Bowery Poetry Club.
Being bored is not an option for Rachel: “Even if I were sitting in a blank room, I would come up with a song in my head.” Rachel writes songs for her own teen band, Supercute!, many of which have messages about society, and a range of musical beats that are unusual for her age group. In one song, she sings about someone with an average desk job waking up from a Candy Land-filled dream, all sung to the tune of “psychedelic, pretty, fun ’60s pop.” Along the lines of thinking outside of the box, she is an advocate for NYC’s rats and pigeons (she makes hair clips out of pigeon feathers, too), whom she believes are undervalued for their contributions to the city, (rats clean up some of the filth in the subway and pigeons, admirably, mate for life). Wearing a children’s dress from Goodwill and without a pair of skinny jeans in sight, Rachel Trachtenburg is as authentic as they come, a fresh young voice worth paying full attention to.