by Thomas Bedward September 03, 2021
An adventurous fusion of poetry with jazz, classical and Americana musical elements that have been cast in the vein of Leonard Cohen and Laurie Anderson, Poetica is a musical experience like few others. A project that aims to create a connection and shared experience via the unifying power of words, it’s unique, adventurous, and yet somehow familiar, building on human intimacy and timeless sounds that flow without any defined or typical song structure.
An intoxicating new release from MPress Records, and the debut release from Poetica, ‘Thanksgiving’ is the first glimpse into a spoken-word concept album conceived, produced and engineered by six-time Independent Music Award winner Rachael Sage.
With its proud horn lines and retro string hooks, the debut track ‘Thanksgiving’ is a psychedelic spoken-word ode to individuality in all its complex glory. Directed and animated by NLX, the video evokes the beatnik era with clever typewriter-inspired imagery, a decidedly committed colour scheme, and a visual flow that perfectly reflects the stream-of-consciousness vocals. Percolating percussion and sparse bass lines support playful guitar riffs in this sensual, empowered music-poetry feast for the eyes, ears and mind.
"Writing song lyrics is very different for me than writing poems," says Rachael Sage. "Poems come from a much more subconscious, mysterious place that I would almost describe as a kind of soul-searching. It's a very spiritual process for me and I usually learn something after the fact, once each poem is written. I've been really enjoying the absence of any kind of song structure while creating these arrangements, and I also greatly credit Dave Eggar for supporting this vision, and my writing, unequivocally."
Beginning as a duo collaboration under lockdown between Sage and her long-time cellist Dave Eggar, Poetica soon evolved into a full-blown, cinematic spoken word album, with Sage producing and engineering the project in isolation with the limited gear she happened to have with her while on tour while sending files back and forth to bandmates and guest musicians from every genre; the project was mixed by Grammy winner Andy Zulla. From over 200 poems written both during and prior to lockdown, Eggar – whose parents are both poetry professors – volunteered to help Sage select the 18 spoken-word pieces that eventually comprised the album.
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