MPress Records has just released “Sleep When I’m Tired” on the heels of prior single “Unconditional“, the new track from Poetica, a spoken-word concept album conceived, produced and engineered by six-time Independent Music Award winner Rachael Sage. The track premiered in Americana Highways. With its roots planted firmly in experimental and boundary-pushing genres, Poetica is a cinematic, stylistically expansive odyssey. Its fusion of poetry with jazz, classical and Americana musical elements calls to mind such poets/musicians as Leonard Cohen, Laurie Anderson, and Patti Smith. Poetica’s self-titled album releases on October 22 (pre-order the album HERE).
With its instantly hummable melody, Poetica’s “Sleep When I’m Tired” harnesses Eastern European and flamenco musical flavors to capture the feelings that arise from physical and mental exhaustion. Singer/producer Rachael Sage and 3x Grammy winning cellist Dave Eggar channel smoky bar vibes, depicting love’s resilience in the face of duress. Beatbox grooves, acoustic guitar, and blues harmonica provide colorful accompaniment, which features Will Wilde on harmonica, Russ Johnson on trumpet, Jeff Allen on upright bass, Dave Eggar on cello, Jack Petruzzelli on piano, Doug Yowell on drums, and Gerry Leonard on electric guitars.
Beginning as a duo collaboration under lockdown between Sage and her longtime cellist Dave Eggar (Esperanza Spalding, Duncan Sheik, Corinne Bailey Rae), Poetica soon evolved into a full-blown, cinematic spoken word album, with Sage producing and engineering the project in isolation with limited gear she happened to have with her while on tour while sending files back and forth to bandmates and guest musicians from every genre; the project was mixed by Grammy® winner Andy Zulla (The Sweet Remains, Stephen Kellogg). From over 200 poems written both during and prior to lockdown, Eggar – whose parents are both poetry professors – volunteered to help Sage select the 18 spoken-word pieces that eventually comprised the album.
Sage explains, “‘Sleep When I’m Tired’ is the only sung piece on Poetica – versus the rest of the album being spoken-word-focused material. The reason I included it was because it was composed in real time off the top of my head, as I sang the lyrics over a guitar loop without editing a line or redoing the lead vocal…it was one take, and a rather imperfect, gritty performance, but I felt it captured a feeling, in the spirit of the album as a whole. I had been listening to Nick Cave’s ‘The Weeping Song’ earlier in the evening, fell asleep, and then decided to build a piece around clapping, which you can hear in the choruses. From there, I added beatboxing and percussion and just tried to capture the essence of profound exhaustion, and the process one goes through trying to emerge from darkness into light.”