Rachael Sage, in the guise of a poet and storyteller, has stunned with album and side project POETICA, out now.
A sparse yet rich instrumentation opens the debut album of spoken word-jazz outfit, Poetica. The song’s emphasis on the backbeat alludes to the beat traditions of poetry before, but it’s frontwoman Rachael Sage’s voice that acts as the guiding light at the forefront of the mix.
Poetica is the brainchild of alt-folk-pop composer, producer, and poet Rachael Sage. A cinematic, stylistically expansive odyssey, Poetica calls to mind such poets/musicians as Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson. Adventurous yet familiar in its intimacy, Sage’s voice is perfectly at home in the absence of typical song structure, while her musical arrangements fuse elements of jazz, classical and Appalachian folk with surprising agility.
Ever-adapting, Sage’s voice and personality carry effortlessly over the mix of singular and, at times, unsettling production to create an atmosphere of introspection and intimacy. The powerful mixture of instruments places Poetica on a pedestal of absolute individuality – somewhere they reside alone.
There are moments in this album where it seems Sage, through the guise of Poetica, reaches out to find “equally strange kindred spirits” [such as on ‘How Songs Are Born’], or reveal some darker truths, like the exhaustion and pressure Sage owns up on on ‘Pulpit’ – “playing music is hard… but not playing isn’t an option”.
More conventional song structures are found on tracks such as the eerie ‘Sleep When I’m Tired’, but the album still finds the space to include upbeat instrumentals like ‘Swing Dance’ – and pull off both, and everything in between, pretty much perfectly.
Poetica may just be a side project from Sage, but we’re hoping she won’t put down the pen on this project any time soon – Poetica shines.