A lot happened to Rachel Sermanni in a short time.
The songwriter's music blossomed, enrapturing an audience that seemed to grow with each passing show. Travelling around the world, she was presented with experience she could scarcely have dreamed about.
Taking time off, Rachel opted to de-pressurise in a Nova Scotia apartment owned by Old Man Luedecke. Sketching out new material, the singer then returned to her native Scottish Highlands to record her second album.
'Tied To The Moon' is the result. Out today (July 10th) it's a beautifully honest return, sweetly poetic in its lyricism yet deadly accurate in arrangement.
Clash has obtained an exclusive stream, alongside a track by track guide from Rachel herself.
Written whilst living in Jen's (piano player and good friend) front room in Edinburgh, wondering about the mighty fun mess I've already managed to get myself into in the small amount of time since beginning to manage myself...
Wine Sweet Wine
I wrote this after the end of a relationship that involved a lot of fun but also a lot of not so much fun. 3. Old Lady's Lament Written in the apartment in Nova Scotia, this was a lullaby that came easy after a few days in the peace and quiet. It fills me with a melancholy and a joy all at once to sing.
I've Got a Girl
This is a few years old, this song. It was conceived the night before my first ever EP launch. A dream of being treated badly by a girl who kept knives, like secrets, in the bathroom. I was the only one who knew about it, but no one believed me. I came to realise that both the mean girl and the victim were both only elements of myself. I had to find a safe way to air them. To give them a voice before they were screaming at me.
I wrote this for a person far away who, I guess you could say, I was 'courting' in a very old fashioned sort of way.
I tell the story of sitting in an abandoned tractor atop a highland hill, where this song began. But it is not the subject matter. The subject matter is a combination of things ranging from a play on a catholic hymn I remember from church, a book called My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk, another called Our Lady Of The Flowers by Jean Genet and a couple of intense things that occurred in my personal life over the past few years that brought to light the often paralysing power of other people's perspectives and opinions.
This is older than 'I've Got a Girl'. I wrote this whilst recording the first EP but it was never released. I wrote it, a little ominously, at the beginning of a new relationship...I also wrote it after reading Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I like the image of the river very much.
Banks Are Broken
So, if Ferryman came at the beginning, this song is an ode to the end. A soft and full of heart sort of end.
This is about the fact that, although this life is a wonderful one, with all the touring it sometimes feels like returning to a loved one, after so many weeks or months, feels like you're starting all over again. Sometimes it feels like there's no chance to progress.
Here is a nice example of anthropomorphism, a term I tried to get my head around in my last years of school. I have given a human attribute to all the strange layers of emotion that come with the ending of a relationship. I like the drums and the piano in this recording a lot.
Band members for the recording of this album were:
Jennifer Austin on Piano & Organ
Louis Linklater Abbott on drums
Gordon Skene on Bass and Cello
Colin Macleod on pedal steel, vox and some electric guitar.
- - -
'Tied To The Moon' is out now.