Bio

Rachel Garlin is a San Francisco-based singer-songwriter, currently recording her sixth full-length album "Mondegreens" with producer Julie Wolf.

Garlin is a Berkeley native and a songwriter's songwriter who pens "finely etched songs that respect the folk tradition." (SF Bay Guardian) Her live performances combine a warm stage presence with the same folk, rock and roots flavors that season her recordings. Media fans include Diffuser Magazine ("an impressive catalog of unforgettable songs”) and Curve Magazine who calls her lyrical work “storytelling at its best.” 

Songs from Garlin’s first five albums have gained her recognition at folk festivals around the country, including the Newport Folk Festival where show won first place in the Talent Search. She recorded a live album at the historic Freight and Salvage in Berkeley and has headlined at Club Passim, The Bitter End, and other clubs of national standing. Garlin has toured as far as Sweden and Scotland (her mother's homeland) where she performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her songs aired on NPR’s Democracy Now!, Click and Clack’s Car Talk and were featured in documentary films such as "Fuel" and "A Womb of Their Own."

A teacher at heart, Garlin leads songwriting workshops for adults and kids and co-writes songs with community members. She mentors songwriters at Sunset Youth Services, an agency that supports in-risk youth in San Francisco. 

Garlin lives in San Francisco with her wife and three kids.

Background

Garlin grew up in a music-infused household and spent as much time learning folk songs on her dad’s Gibson J-50 as she did practicing her jump-shot with the State Championship Berkeley High basketball team. She went on to become a member of the Harvard hoops team while cutting her teeth at open mics in and around Cambridge, MA.  

Before becoming a full-time singer-songwriter, Garlin earned her teaching credential and taught in public schools in Phoenix, Berkeley and New York. Carrying the stories of her students with her, she began recording and touring. Her first two albums were collaborations, Lisa Zeiler (from the folk trio Rebecca Riots.)

With a grant from Music To Life, Garlin taught social-justice-oriented songwriting workshops at the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Dublin Women’s Prison, and in public schools in Berkeley and New York. Now a faculty member at Live Oak School, Garlin leads songwriting workshops for kids and adults. She also works with the youth record label Upstar Records while mentoring system-involved youth at Sunset Youth Services.