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Sydney songstress Rachel Collis releases her highly anticipated second album
Nightlight released digitally on Friday 12th September 2014

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Rachel CollisMore than a year of hard work is set to pay off for acclaimed Sydney songstress Rachel Collis with the release of her highly anticipated second album Nightlight. The indie-pop-folk singer songwriter is ready to share her delicately crafted and deeply sensitive songs in what critics are already describing as her most important work. The album - produced by Rachel and Sean Carey (Thirsty Merc) - combines exquisite ballad, folk and pop sounds with breathtaking vocals and delicate piano to create a perfect storm of both beauty and dark sensitivity. It’s captivating from the very first listen and showcases Rachel’s poetic lyrical talent.

Rachel spent a long time crafting songs and fine-tuning the sound on this album in order to paint a true representation of herself. “I spent a lot of time researching and thinking about sound and style for this record,” she says. “I wrote over 20 songs in the 18 month timeframe from my first album, and was determined not to record until I had 10 songs that were not only strong songs, but that also represented the real me. By the time I went into the studio I felt I could clearly articulate what I wanted, and I also knew from having researched Sean Carey that his sound aligned with my own desired aesthetic. This one felt organic and spontaneous and I feel that shows in the end product. I thinkit’s a huge step forward for me in terms of quality and intent, and I’m very proud of the end result.”

On Nightlight, Rachel opens herself up with honest and heartfelt songs that tell tales of acceptance, hope and living in the moment. She admits revealing so much of herself to listeners is confronting, but necessary in order to be true to the songs. “I certainly find it very frightening to reveal so much about myself, and even now I occasionally find myself obfuscating details to try to disguise what a song is really about,” she says. “The difficulty is I feel like I have to be true to the original song idea and do it justice, and that means following a thought all the way through to its conclusion. Sometimes, I don’t even realise how honest I’m being until I’ve finished the song and look at the end result. At the time, it just felt like I was exploring an idea.”

Rachel is a living example of exploring an idea and following it through. She has a degree in German and Linguistics and has undertaken a Masters of Music in Composition and Music Production at the Australian Institute of Music. Her classical music background is clearly evident on this album and it’s her in-depth knowledge of musical theory that helped give the album wings. “It’s extremely helpful to be able to understand what I am writing from a theoretical perspective,” she says. “It allows me to understand why a particular melodic line might sound dull, or to identify the musical choices that made another song great and to use that formula again. It allows me to make conscious choices and to craft a song, rather than stabbing in the dark at melodic ideas and hoping for the best.”

Since stepping into the musical spotlight in 2012, Rachel has gathered quite the reputation for her unforgettable live performances, drawing comparisons with American singer-songwriter and pianist Regina Spektor. She’s played to music fans in venues across Sydney, including sell-out performances at the prestigious Riverside Theatres in Parramatta, along with a couple of solo appearances at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. “Performing solo at the piano allows me to create a really large sound, but also to pull right back and create something very intimate,” Rachel says. “It also allows me to push the tempo forward and pull it back in ways that I can’t do with a band, and bring a spontaneous kind of energy to the song.”  Rachel’s live shows are unique and unpredictable, at times channeling Ben Folds on the piano before changing gear to resemble the more modern folk story telling of a Joni Mitchell. Nightlight is a fine representation of this individuality and an album she can be truly proud of.

Nightlight is released digitally through ReverbNation on Friday 12th September 2014.

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