Since founding her own label MPress Records two decades ago, NYC-based alt-pop artist Rachael Sage has steadily released a slew of vibrant, dynamic albums with poetic, image-rich lyrics spanning subjects as wide as her inspirations. Often designing her own album artwork, costumes and musical instruments, Sage has toured with an eclectic list of artists including Ani DiFranco, Beth Hart, Sarah McLachlan, Judy Collins and Howard Jones. Raised mainly on classical music, doo-wop, ‘70s folk and British pop, Sage possesses a rare combination of musical ingenuity, visual dynamism and emotional insight. Her songs are cinematic and beautiful, her production layered, lush and laced with orchestral surprises.
Myopia is a bold departure for Sage, with a much stronger emphasis on her guitar playing over her usual piano palette, and inventive contributions by Hoboken-based guitarist James Mastro, along with her touring band The Sequins. Other guests on the album include drummer Doug Yowell (Joe Jackson, Duncan Sheik), keyboardist Rob Curto (Lila Downes), trumpeter Russ Johnson (Elvis Costello, Deborah Harry) and bassist Mike Visceglia (Suzanne Vega).
Produced by Sage and her longtime engineer John Shyloski, Myopia is the crystallization of countless studio hours and hundreds of shows in the U.S. and around the world. It’s also a new kind of album for Sage, who sings passionately about a “screen of judgement / in my face all the time” being lifted. It’s a declaration of self-assurance and vision that perhaps could only be made as disarmingly in the middle of a cultural crisis.
Sage explains: “This is a warm-weather record. These are songs about getting out there, thawing things out, and unearthing the truth. Sometimes you can’t do that in the dead of winter. But when the sun is shining, even the murkiest future appears hopeful.”