Rachel Sermanni is a Scottish singer/songwriter who seems to have been very busy in the last two years. After appearing in the “Celtic Connections Festival” in 2011 and 2012 on the “New Voices” stage, along with supporting the likes of “Fink” and “Ron Sexsmith” on their own tours, she stayed in India over Christmas and New Year recording with Indian musicians. After, she performed her own solo tours in the UK and Europe, and released E.P’s “Bothy Sessions” in July 2011 and “Black Currants” in February this year, followed by a set on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading 2012. All of this climaxed with the release of her debut album “Under Mountains”, which she released through her own label “Middle of Nowhere”, and peaked at No. 2 on the Independent charts. Phew! Oh – and she is just 20 years old.
Her first album is a great mix of folk and country, with small hints of jazz perhaps, all blended together with instruments and minimal production used merely to help enhance her voice. To look at the track listing is perhaps to hint that you are in for something more delicate to the ear, but they are not without impact or power. Tracks such as “Breathe Easy” and “Waltz” give the impression of someone with a far more advanced calibre of song writing and emotional heft. In a genre where female acoustic artists are many and can sound similar/polished, Sermanni distinguishes herself from the others with songs that can haunt, like “Bones”, with a string section and Piano part that is reminiscent of a Danny Elfman film, to songs that soothe like “Eggshells”
“Eggshells” is by far my favourite track from the album as it displays all of her attributes as a singer songwriter with both Sermanni’s vocal and musical talent complimenting each other brilliantly. Her first release from the album is a track called “The Fog” which, like “Bones”, has a darkness and texture which shows off the other side of her song writing. Her voice does not soar as much as in other tracks, but it drives and broods along with another inspired strings accompaniment.
I missed Rachel Sermanni this year at Reading 2012 she is currently on her solo tour and if I can I will try and catch the show. I hope everyone else catches on too.