By Claudia Grossi
Fred Beans is a duo (occasionally a trio) from the greater Philadelphia area. Fred Beans is Rachel Levin (guitar, vocals,) Tyler Black (drums,) and sometimes Kade Holt (bass.) Rachel and Tyler are the main members of the band, and have been making music for years. These guys have been around for a while, and their first EP “Baked” was released in October of 2015. Fred Beans has a total of three albums, their latest being “the Peanut Butter and Jelly Dogs,” released on June 20th, 2017. It’s incredible to see how their music has progressed as they’ve aged, gone through school, and moved on to different stages of their lives. Rachel’s lyrics are real and personal, and discuss “sex and love and lack there of, finding beauty in big things, small things, and most definitely all things, discerning astrology & autonomy, and grasping dualities & surrealities.” Not only are their guitar riffs catchy and their rhythms driving, the lyrics to each track are worth stopping and thinking about. “The Peanut Butter and Jelly Dogs” is a strong album from start to finish, and is worth sitting down and listening to all the way through.
Fred Beans is one of my favorite bands to see live. Rachel and Tyler put their all into each song that they play, and the audience feeds off the energy. This makes them a great band to see, but you can still feel the emotion and energy through their recordings. Fred Beans is a well known name in the Philly area, and have even gone on tours of the East Coast. Rachel just recently finished a solo tour under the moniker “Itchy Kisses” to celebrate and promote her first EP “Shoot.” This album is a bit of a divergence from the typical Fred Beans songs, and is much more experimental. It’s also definitely worth checking out.
The last thing I want to talk about is the importance and impact of Fred Beans on the Philadelphia music scene. It is so refreshing to see a duo such as Fred Beans become as popular as they are. In such a white male dominated scene, it’s nice to have different representation in successful bands. There are not many femme fronted bands in Philly, or anywhere else for that matter. Fred Beans is a very important band for representation in the Philadelphia music scene, and so is Rachel’s solo career. They are a great band to check out or see live if you are ever on the East Coast or in the Philadelphia area. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram, where you can keep up with tours, shows, and releases.