Rachael Sage’s new record ‘Character’ starts with the relaxing ‘Blue Sky Days’ and sets the scene for a body of work based on the question “What makes character?”
“Just a person struggling in her skin” Sage sings softly on ‘Bravery’s On Fire’ as the topic of struggling with independence enters the fray.
‘Damaged’ sounds very New York and concocts images of yellow cabs, hot dog vendors and a sparkling Times Square.
Sage’s version of CSNY’s ‘Ohio’ is filled with steady drums and piano, and as you listen to it in the year 2020 the lyrics seem to ask us to consider if anything has really changed in the 50 years since the senseless shooting of students at the hands of the National Guard at Kent State University in Ohio back in 1970, which left four dead and prompted the protest song ‘Ohio’ to be written.
When I Was Young’ uses lush string sounds including a cello and ‘Atmosphere’ seems to be constructed like a a track written by someone such as Nik Kershaw or Paul Young.
The record finishes with ‘Catch The Light’ – the music for which was written by Rachael as an instrumental for a performance in 7th grade at the age of eleven. Then whilst looking at school memorabilia in her adult years, she was able to add lyrics as she played the tune on her keyboard to create the final product.
Overall, ‘Character’ is at times a difficult listen from an emotional standpoint as it allows the listener to think about what makes up their own personal character. Beautifully written and filled with heart, Rachael Sage should be very proud of this release.