She’s a straight-up storyteller with a voice to blow all others clean out of the water…19-year-old Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni packs an almighty punch with her earthy folk melodies and dextrous fingerpicking.
Her hometown of Carrbridge with its rugged mountain backdrop in the heart of the Highland skiing fields is rife with creative potential and Rachel’s traditional folk lineage continues to pervade her work. But since upping sticks to Glasgow, her songs have also been shaped by new beginnings. “Jazz, folk, indie – all the spheres seem to meld together and there are no boundaries, which creates an incredibly healthy scene,” she says.
Rachel is currently putting the “glue work” to her debut self-released ‘Black Currents’ EP, out January 30th. Produced by Communion marvel Ian Grimble, it showcases her unique talent through four beautiful tracks which at once conjure a kaleidoscopic reverie of sights and sounds.
There’s ‘Breathe Easy’ – a song built on a brave, a cappella backbone and fleshed out with a forthright strings and keys section – the dynamic ‘Black Current’ which rises and falls with an intoxicating swoon – and ‘Song To a Fox’ – a wintry hymn sculpted from haunting, spacious cries. That’s not forgetting lead track ‘The Fog’, with its larger-than-life chorus.
Rachel’s razor-sharp wit and natural affinity with any audience somehow belie her young age and have led to support slots with the likes of Elvis Costello, Ron Sexsmith and Michael Kiwanuka.
At Christmas she will travel to India for an intensive writing and recording session hosted by guru Papon – followed by shows in some of India’s major cities – and then early 2012 sees the London debut for Rachel’s full band with a date at Union Chapel on January 23rd.