In April 2017, with her 21-year-old brother as intern tour manager & two Canadian companions, 25-year-old Rachel Sermanni found herself in Northern British Columbia, driving highways, camping by rivers or lakes, climbing hills and playing gigs. There, for the first time, she saw the Aurora Borealis, a spectacle shared by the locals of Two Mile, a tiny town by the waters of the Skeena River where Rachel was preparing for a gig.
That day unfolded in a succession of activities involving the natural surroundings, observing the local wildlife and quiet contemplation accompanied by a cup of coffee back at the house. Rachel then settled on the wooden floor to tickle her Martin guitar with a recurring refrain before the evening performance revealed its magic. Later that night Brian the house owner informed her that there were ‘…colours in the sky now’. Still swaddled in the warmth of her sleeping bag, Rachel made way, with mat, hat and blankets, to the centre of the garden. They watched the light play, ooze and throb in that ineffable way for most of the night. At some point the phenomenon dissolved back to a clear, cold, star-struck sky. Rachel left Brian in a whisky stupor. She came to the quiet dark of the living room, sat before the soft red heat of the stove and wrote Lay My Heart.
The song was played next night and has become entirely part of Rachel’s repertoire ever since.
Lay My Heart, the single, includes the original Garageband recording from that early morning. The official recording, however, was made back in Scotland with dear friends Jennifer Austin on piano, Laura Wilkie & Siobhan Anderson on fiddle, Toby Shippey on trumpet, Mike Guest and David Jack as studio creators, engineers and all round handy men.
Half of all physical and digital proceeds will go to the BIGproject, an organisation who Rachel has had the honour to work with over the years, based in Broomhouse Primary School, Edinburgh.
‘Lay My Heart’ is available digitally from 10th November on Bandcamp. Physical copies are limited and will be available at upcoming live shows.
4th November: Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
7th November: SEALL, Skye
9th November: The Drouthy Cobbler, Elgin
10th November: The Drouthy Cobbler, Elgin
11th November: Tolbooth, Stirling
16th November: Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
17th November: Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
18th November: Elm House Concert, Craigrothie
19th November: Carousel Sessions, Chorlton
20th November: The Lantern, Halifax
21st November: Bush Hall, London
22nd November: The Stables, Milton Keynes
23rd November: Chapel Arts Centre, Bath
24th November: Municipal Hall, Biggar
25th November: Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh