With music more accessible than ever it’s easy to become swamped with new artists, and sadly not always the kind which will leave you wanting more. Thankfully Rachel Sermanni has the power to restore my faith in the world, reconfirming that there’s a wealth of noteworthy music out there, if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon it.
Abashed and a little intense, Rachel fuses folky sounds with more obscure observations in the world and tonight the whole thing is brought to life by the addition of keys and violins behind her acoustic guitar. At times this is sympathetic, the vocals of her band melting into the sounds, barely audible, whilst at other times this is the driving force of the set, especially in Song To A Fox when the vocals and sweeping guitars power the song.
With recent coverage for the title track of her latest EP Black Current it’s no surprise that this receives the biggest applause of the night, with the exception of her rousing ‘f**k’ 3 lines into newest song I’ve Got A Girl when she realises she’s mistuned her guitar. It’s undoubtedly a warranted applause, the plucked fiddles fusing with her frantic strumming to create an almost discordant sound.
Nevertheless this overlooks the likes of Eggshells, the next song she hopes to hit the airwaves and indeed it does, just an hour or so later as I make my way home, a sure sign there’s plenty more to come. Whilst there are times when there’s a sense that a few of the songs could do to be paired back, a few minutes knocked off the end, and at others a requirement for a bit more variation to be woven into the set, overall it’s a rousing performance acting as a marker of the highs Rachel has yet to climb. Whilst it’s quintessentially folk, there’s a playful approach to both sound and lyrics, best highlighted by The Pirate Song.
A fond lover of the seasons with Marshmallow Unicorns and Eggshells both penned in the period around Easter in various years she’s someone who clearly soaks up the world around her, transforming it into something new. This in turn gives Rachel an earthly quality and in a short yet engaging set, which is ended without a requested encore she delivers at every opportunity. If the queue for CDs after the show is anything to go by, it’s clear I’m not the only who’s had their faith in music reaffirmed.