Having seen indie pop singer Rachel Chinouriri at EartH last year (and crying my eyes out) I definitely anticipated more tears than smiles. There’s something about Rachel Chinouriri’s music that doesn’t just tug at your heart strings, it pulls at them – leaving a lump in your throat as you try not to bawl your eyes out. While I definitely had to fight back tears at some points last night, it was such a pleasant surprise to see Rachel is much happier this time round as she graces the stage at Hoxton Hall for a sold out, four show stint. 

Beginning the show with ‘I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Trying)’, she stepped out to the breezy, introspective track in a gorgeous green flowy dress, her hair laden with cute clips. 

Photography by Kat Friar

Now, while ‘Better Off Without’ is a tear-jerker, the emotions Rachel carries as she belts out the notes feels more like triumph than heartbreak. The conviction in her voice makes you believe she truly knows how much better she is without this relationship in her life – a five year relationship she ended that is the inspiration behind her last EP by the same name.

‘If Only’ gives the crowd a joyous back and fourth as she sings “I never the see the world in colour / I dream of things I can’t afford” and the crowd echoes her line by line.

She gives us an exclusive listen of three unreleased songs, one of which is titled ‘The Hills’ – a track detailing how she felt she didn’t fit in while in LA – she channels rock in this track which is an intriguing side of Rachel that I’d definitely want to see more of.

Photography by Kat Friar

Rachel offers anecdotes about her songs often, giving us insight into the trials and tribulations that inspire each song. Notably, her latest single ‘Ribs’ is inspired by when she had chest infection and a crush and how the two were alike and comparable. She gets the crowd jumping like a true indie princess.

She sits on the edge of Hoxton Hall’s incredibly high stage for ‘So My Darling’ as she explains how she wrote this song at seventeen after being left in the friend zone by her dear friend Marcus. Whenever she performs this song, she gives it the most heartwarming introduction:

“I got lots of people to send me voice notes of them saying that they loved people, and by the next day, people were sending voice notes of how they loved people that they’d lost. It reminded me how fragile and special our lives are – that one day we will all become memories, pictures, stories, videos, and voice recordings. And what you want is for people to look back at those pictures of you and think – “Wow, this person was full of so much love and so much joy,” so I just want you guys all to promise me that you’ll tell people you love them all the time, because it is so important. Love is the one thing that has no currency. You can definitely underuse it, but you cannot overuse it. There’s no price on love.”

Photography by Kat Friar

As we’re coming to the end of the show, she speaks on how ending that five year relationship made her think she’d been robbed of her happy ending at the time – but she now realises that she’s actually the happiest she’s ever been, before performing penultimate track ‘Happy Ending’.

After concluding with her most popular hit ‘All I Ever Ask’ – it’s so evident that Rachel is in much higher spirits. She seems lighter and bouncier, her live performance puts smiles on everyone’s face all round and the entire balcony stood up in celebration. Watching the progress between now and then is a blessing – the journey to healing is never easy, but she’s making it look effortless.

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