MPress Records (label)
11 February 2013 (released)
21 November 2012
In the United States Rachael Sage has built up a strong following since the mid nineties as one of the highest profile independent artists. Hardly on the radar in the UK, her tenth studio album is a bid to break the market here. The singer is releasing the album off the back of a UK tour, where she supported Judy Collins for some dates. In the States, she has shared the stage with other radio friendly artists like Marc Cohn and Sarah MacLachlan.
Sage is one of a long line of female American singer songwriters – although she is also a poet and visual artists, which gives her live shows an extra edge. Sound wise she is similar to the likes of A Fine Frenzy, another artist who tends to be featured during dramatic or sad moments of US dramas, but otherwise is unknown this side of the Atlantic.
Those TV shows will find plenty of material here too, as Haunted By You is dominated by her split from her partner of four years. So cue heartbreak songs like the excellent pacey opening Invisible Light, with its references to dark nights and being torn apart, which re-appears in a different form to book end the album.
Invisible Light’s promising beginning is slightly misleading though, as the album’s pace is more typified by the tearful title track’s naval gazing, alongside piano ballads like Birthday and Performance Art. This is the first time Sage has written with acoustic guitar, and the experiment works in isolation on the likes of California and the delicate Everything. But as the album builds, the slightly twee vocal and plaintive reflection can tire and more variation would have been welcome.