Rachael Sage 2022
Photo: Courtesy of MPress Media

Rachael Sage Strikes the Heartstrings with Meditative Hymnal “Revelation Ground” (premiere)

Rachael Sage’s “Revelation Ground” is a spiritual folk tune about reflection and release, accentuated by a stirring music video from animator Antje Duvekot.

Heart-stirring singer-songwriter Rachael Sage returns with “Revelation Ground”, her new maxi-single due out on 18 February. The meditative tune sounds much like healing—for Sage and the listener. Underscored by a riveting cello, she croons a hopeful message beneath the undertow of visceral struggle we have collectively experienced over the last few years. It is available to pre-save now.

The music video for “Revelation Ground’ is an animated piece crafted by Antje Duvekot. The artist is well-loved in musical circles for her stop-motion works, recalling Rankin/Bass in their papier-mâché movements. It beautifully accentuates the story told in Sage’s audial work, honing in on feelings of reflection and release.

Sage tells PopMatters,” ‘Revelation Ground’ was the first song I wrote during the lockdown. It came out of compounded grief – from witnessing one loss of human life after another. From my own business manager’s sudden death from Covid to the ongoing disheartening examples of police brutality and, of course, all of those who perished from the virus. Like most people, I was struggling to stay positive and consider the potential for rebirth and reform amidst tragedy and social injustice, while also questioning my own ability to contribute to a better world.”

“I suppose ‘Revelation Ground’ is my version of ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’. I wanted to write a prayerful song that could become a kind of hymn that planted a seed of hope while also honoring precious lives lost. It’s a song of reckoning and of trying to move through personal and collective loss while honoring human resilience and the seasonal nature of the healing process.”

Of the music video, she says, “I’ve been a fan of Antje’s extraordinary artistic talents for many years, and after I saw the videos she had done for Toad the Wet Sprocket and Elyza Gilkyson I immediately reached out to see if she’d like to collaborate on ‘Revelation Ground’. Thankfully she told me she loved the song, and we clicked right away!”

“It was important to both of us to have the stop-motion imagery capture the sociopolitical dynamics that had sparked me to write the song while also reflecting my aesthetic as a performer. I think Antje did an amazing job balancing the specifics of her designed characters – including me – with the universality of the lyrical imagery. I would work together with her again in a heartbeat and was truly honored by the amount of time and heart she put into bringing ‘Revelation Ground’ to life, visually!”

Lastly, Sage reflects on her choice to put out a maxi-single, stating, “The various versions I’m choosing to share on this maxi-single essentially chronicle the process of me recording it under lockdown by myself, which I thought listeners might find interesting. Until the pandemic I actually hadn’t self-engineered anything, even a demo, in over 20 years—versus making my last dozen albums in a regular recording studio—so the listener gets to hear how it began with just a live acoustic performance I captured with microphones on my guitar and vocal, and then me gradually adding layers of strings, percussion, electric guitar and drums, all in Garage Band. Because I produced it in isolation and spent more time than usual fine-tweaking the instrumentation during such an intense time, I became emotionally attached to each stage of the song. I’m eager to be able to share how it evolved – including chamber and instrumental versions.”

TOUR DATES

2/10/22 – Beacon, NY – The Dogwood (Winter Residency)
2/11/22 – Ithaca, NY – Hangar Theatre*
2/12/22 – Saratoga, NY – Universal Preservation Hall*
2/14/22 – Boston, MA – City Winery*
2/15/22 – Norwalk, CT – Wall Street Theater*
2/17/22 – Pawling, NY – Daryl’s House*
2/18/22 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount*
2/20/22 – Sellersville, PA – Sellersville Theater*
2/21/22 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere*
2/22/22 – Richmond, VA – The Tin Pan*
3/1/22 – New York, NY – Joe’s Pub
3/4/22 – Beacon, NY – The Dogwood (Winter Residency)
3/26/22 – Bethlehem, PA – Godfrey Daniels
4/9/22 – Binghamton, NY – Atomic Tom’s

(* appearing with Howard Jones)

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