by Philip Moss
Opening with its most contemplative, wistful moment, Put Me In The River’s rolling, picked acoustic and lightly brushed percussion provide the perfect ambience for Rachel Sermanni’s addictive melodies. Like wandering through a forest late at night, it unfolds across six minutes and is the perfect entrance point to the hypnotic, folk noir that makes up her third, self released LP, So It Turns.
The record is theatrical throughout. See You and If I really show off the Cambridge based songwriter’s stellar voice – as well as her ear for weaving pop refrains and enigmatic poeticism. Somehow feeling like a classic on first play, What Can I Do is the most immediate cut here – laying Sermanni’s thoughts on Brexit, Trump and the refugee crisis on the table, as she looks within for possible answers. It is further embellished – its arrangement growing into a wild PJ Harvey inspired ride – but with twinklings from the mandolin it was written on, there are glimmers of light through the dark atmospheric soundscape.
Rachel Sermanni has previously released music through Rough Trade and Middle of Nowhere Recordings, but there’s something very fitting about So It Turns being a self released collection. It has clearly been a labour of love – such is the meticulous nature of its stunning songwriting and beautiful production – and it is one that is capable of making a deep connection with anyone who falls onto its path.
Secret Meeting score: 77