© 2024 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rachel Litteral on her powerful debut album, 'Relentless'

Album cover of Rachel Litteral's Relentless.
Album cover of Rachel Litteral's Relentless.

This week on Kaleidoscope, WYSO Music Director Juliet Fromholt interviewed Dayton singer-songwriter Rachel Litteral about her debut album, Relentless, which will be released on May 30. Recorded at Patrick Himes’ Reel Love Recording Studio, Relentless features songs spanning Litteral’s songwriting career, with guest performances by an impressive roster of Dayton musicians, including Rich Reuter, Brian Hoeflich, Khrys Blank, Trey Stone, and Kate Wakefield.

Born in Oklahoma and raised in Urbana Ohio, Rachel Litteral got her first guitar when she was 14 years old. By the end of high school, she was writing original songs, including “Walkin’ Away”—a frequent request at local bonfires, she recalled. Written when Litteral was 18, “Walkin’ Away” is the earliest song on Relentless.

After high school Litteral’s focus shifted to her studies and career as a nurse practitioner, though she continued to write and perform music whenever possible. In 2018, however, a near-death experience led her to reassess her relationship with music, and to pursue in earnest her dream of recording an album. “[The album] has been a long time coming for many years, and I just kept putting it on the back burner,” she told Juliet. “The long and short of it is that I had a near-death experience in 2018. When I came out of the coma, pretty quickly I was like, ‘What am I waiting for?’”

Litteral began contacting many of Dayton’s most established rock musicians, including Patrick Himes, Amber Hargett, and Rich Reuter, who, in turn, introduced her to still more members of the city’s music community. “I was like, ‘Hey, I need all the support I can get, you guys are awesome.’ And they helped guide me through,” she said. “[Rich Reuter] helped me make a lot of connections. He was working on an album at the time, and we would split costs— we’d bring the horns in for his song, then we’d do mine.”

Litteral also began writing new songs for the album with remarkable speed. About half of the material on Relentless was drawn from preexisting works composed over her many years of songwriting; the other half, she says, was penned just days before entering the recording studio.

“Literally a night or two before I went into the studio, I realized I only had maybe three or four songs. And I thought, ‘Well, that just won’t do!’ So I actually sat down and hammered out another three or four, so by the time I walked in I had six or seven.”

Rachel Litteral will celebrate the release of Relentless on Thursday, May 30, at the Trail Town Brewery in Yellow Springs, as part of Danny Sauers and Sharon Lane's "An Evening With" concert series. One single from the album, “WYTOBSYM” (“While You’re Talking Out Both Sides of Your Mouth”), is available now on digital streaming platforms.

For more information about Rachel Litteral’s music, including upcoming performance dates and release updates, visit her Facebook page.

Text by Peter Day, based on a live studio interview recorded by Juliet Fromholt on May 22, 2024.

Stay Connected
Juliet Fromholt is proud to be music director at 91.3FM WYSO. Juliet began volunteering at WYSO while working at WWSU, the student station at her alma mater, Wright State University. After joining WYSO's staff in 2009, Juliet developed WYSO’s digital and social media strategy until moving into the music director role in 2021. An avid music fan and former record store employee, Juliet continues to host her two music shows, Alpha Rhythms and Kaleidoscope, which features studio performances from local musicians every week. She also co-hosts Attack of the Final Girls, a horror film review podcast.
Peter Day writes and produces stories for WYSO’s music department. His works include a feature about Dayton's premiere Silent Disco and a profile of British rapper Little Simz. He also assists with station operations and serves as fill-in host for Behind the Groove. Peter began interning at WYSO in 2019 and, in his spare time while earning his anthropology degree, he served as program director for Yale University’s student radio station, WYBC.