Rachael Loomes’s songs are a reminder that music is born from silence, they embody life and death, winter and spring, opposites as complementaries and part of the same cycle. “I think I will always need contrast, in my music and in my life.” Rachael tells Sabat, “If I only had the light I know I would never get any work done, but at the same time, if I only had darkness I wouldn’t ever find the strength to do anything in the first place.”
The name of her latest album, Autumn/Winter 17, which was released earlier this year, shows Rachael’s fascination with the idea of opposites coming together… and something else: a sensitivity and an awareness of her surroundings that are very audible in her art. “Initially I named them that way as that was when they were made, but the truth is that seasons have a great influence on the music I’m making. I tend to make moodier music during the winter, but that’s because I am moodier myself. Spring, on the other hand… I tend to associate spring with falling in love and new beginnings.”
“When I’m making music, it’s the only time when I don’t need to put a mask on.” She confesses that throughout her whole life, her choices have been shaped around the fact that she wants to sing and make music. “I would like to help people connect with their own emotions,” Rachael says “especially sadness. It upsets me when people perceive sadness as a weakness, because who would you be if you didn’t have your demons to fight? It definitely has made me stronger.”
However, while Rachael is clear about how present and important music has been since she was a kid, she says writing came to her more like an afterthought. Although she always loved to write poetry, it wasn’t until she learned to play the guitar that her poems began turning into lyrics. “Even then, it was never an immediate or fast process,” she says, “I wouldn’t just experience something and then run home to write a song about it.”
Symbolisms and metaphors are abundant in Rachael’s lyrics, an echo of her own time writing poetry, “Take the Song Of The Moth, for example.” she says, suggesting one of her songs from her album Spring 17. “It’s actually a song about not being able to fall asleep, but many people would get a total different message because it’s so ambiguous and I love that. “Sometimes I use metaphors to avoid coming to terms with things. By giving something that is painful or uncomfortable a different name, I am turning it into something I can hide or run from, and this can be quite bad.”
Using words to change the nature of something that is unpleasant… that sounds a lot like a spell, and I let her know. She laughs. “It does now, does it?” She seems to reconsider. Before she speaks again, I can already tell she is going to give our conversation the same she does to her songs: an open ending. “I have always been in touch with this darker side of myself… and I think there is definitely a lot of magic in the way I work. You know, when I sing, that is the only time I let people in, I leave an open door for them to peek into my inner world… then I close it again.”
Originally published on SABAT Magazine.