Last month I was lucky enough to witness Rachel Sermanni launching her new album at a stunning gig in Edinburgh’s Summerhall. The songs from So It Turns are intricate and beautiful indie folk songs quietly humming with a darker undercurrent of uncertainty that perfectly reflects the world around us.
The album begins in the water with Put Me in the River. The music floats around her angelic voice in waves. Her restless spirit longs to be submerged in the river – whether it’s an escape, a drowning or perhaps a renewal she longs for is unclear. Either way as the powerfully hypnotic music builds, you find yourself carried away on the currents right with her.
Many of the songs on the album concern desire and the problems such deep emotions cause. See You appears to be about distance and longing to get to know someone, to see them in person and understand what’s beneath their skin. If I quietly ponders possibilities and choices. The musical arrangements on these opening songs are multi-layered and the result is a gloriously rich folk sound.
Wish I Showed My Love explores regret and missed opportunities. It’s a song for introverts everywhere and anyone really who finds it hard to express their emotions. When she sings ‘I love you’ it’s a bittersweet declaration. The simple, stripped back sound underlines the stark expression of emotional frailty.
What Can I Do? contemplates the world around us and the inevitable feelings of confusion and helplessness many of us are suffering. The song addresses her question to the ‘Lord’, seeking spiritual comfort and direction. In the end maybe asking a higher power for answers is the only answer we have. After this perplexing week in politics, this song feels more relevant than ever.
There are some really inventive and intriguing moments on the album, like Typical Homegirl which is sung from the perspective of a naked lady Sermanni once painted. This playful mood and tone is a welcome moment of fun. On Tiger, Sermanni transforms desire into a roaring animal, untamed and even violent. The noise breakdown at the end of the song suggests this is a beast whose power she does not understand or cannot control.
Sermanni is never afraid to sound vulnerable, like on Come to You and that fragile shiver in her delivery is what makes her such an impressive singer. The dreamy Namesake and title track similarly showcase the range and subtle textures of her vocals.
Always thoughtful, always enchanting So It Turns feels like floating in a warm bath of meditative magic. Sink in.
Please consider supporting independent artists by purchasing a copy or buying a ticket for upcoming shows. This album has been self-released and can be purchased through Bandcamp here: https://rachelsermanni.bandcamp.com/album/so-it-turns
Tour dates below:
11th Sep – Aberdeen, The Blue Lamp
12th Sep – Inverness, Eden Court
13th Sep – Stirling, The Tollbooth
19th – 22nd Sep – Shetland (Songwriting Festival)
27th Sep – Galway, The Black Gate
28th Sep – Dublin, Lost Lane
2nd Oct – Album Launch – Glasgow, St Andrews in the Square
10th Oct – London, St Pancras Church
11th Oct – Husthwaite Village Hall
12th Oct – Bury, The Met
13th Oct – Kingskerswell Parish Church
19th Oct – Durham, The Old Launderette