When faced with the over produced world of modern music, sometimes you crave songs that breathe, float and don’t batter the listener into submission. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Johnny Duke, April Fool by Sara Rachele is a suitably sparse and fragile collection, full of echoing empty spaces which emphasise the emotional depth of the vocals.
Tangled starts the album with a slow build of acoustic guitars and Rachele’s intriguing vocals. This is an album of introspective understatement in terms of the musical arrangements, and is all the more distinctive because of that. If I Fell, a Beatles cover, is a slow waltz, with a dreamy country guitar sliding through it. Can’t Be Satisfied is a Muddy Waters tune, where she takes the blues and makes it her own. She recorded this one in Nashville with a hangover and that self-inflicted pain runs through every note.
April Fool is a sad song she heard at a party one night and decided she had to record. That connection she felt to the song, written by John Lilly went even deeper when her own relationship finished on April the 1st. The song has a girl group sound, like a country Shangri-Las with sad gothic guitars. This leads nicely into ‘Keep on the Sunny Side of Life’ a vintage strum that could have been recorded in another lifetime.
When it Rains in Paris feels dreamier and more ethereal. The voice echoes and shivers in the French drizzle, sounding like a lost Mazzy Star song. Missing My Baby is perhaps what she does best – simple heartfelt acoustic moments of sorrow. Anna (I Can’t Tell You The Truth) is a highlight of the album, where she makes a confession of her faults. We Will Meet Again is a slow sad swirl of regret about her drinking and detachment. All is not lost, she sings but you know she’s lying to herself.
Sara Rachele’s Instagram is mainly black and white pictures and this simple aesthetic is reflected in the music too. April Fool is a stylish soundtrack to heartbreaks and hangovers, an album worth taking cold comfort in.