A companion acoustic album to Rachael Sage’s critically acclaimed recording Myopia, PSEUDOMYOPIA is a collection of 11 songs focusing on the concept of vision – including narrow mindedness – in all its many manifestations. Legally blind without corrective lenses, Sage balances the political and the personal with striking depth and perspective. A multi-instrumentalist herself, Sage enlisted a diverse cast of guest musicians to bring a warm intimacy to these very timely tracks, touching on topics as varied as government surveillance, environmental protection, and female empowerment.
“Myopia”, the title track, 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 anthem for Sage, who sings passionately about a “screen of judgment/ in my face all the time” being lifted. The song is a declaration of self-assurance and vision that perhaps could only be made as disarmingly in the middle of a cultural crisis. Explains Sage: “The idea of things coming in and out of focus depending upon what lens you might be looking through seemed especially provocative right now. As someone who is used to squinting to see something more clearly, I started to think about nearsightedness on a much more macro level.”
The clarity that comes from being comfortable in one's own skin is a theme that runs through much of MYOPIA (“Alive”, “Maybe She’ll Have Cats”, “Sistersong”) but there’s also a distinct thread of paranoia and a few other extremes. “Olivia” was inspired by an episode of “Law & Order SVU” and the heroic character Olivia Benson, portrayed by Mariska Hargitay. “Snowed In” was sparked by Edward Snowden, and the adventurous arrangement’s menacing cello lines and dissonant acoustic guitar themes perfectly summon the mood of paranoia. Sage’s plaintive version of Howard Jones’ classic “No One Is To Blame” is both a loving tribute and entirely her own, while “This Darkness”, a bluesy lamentation about the Dakota Pipeline, reflects the urgency and courage of Native Americans’ resistance to environmental desecration.
Sonically, MYOPIA is a bold departure for Sage, with a much stronger emphasis on her guitar playing over her usual piano palette, with inventive contributions by guitarist Ben Butler (Sting), violinist Kelly Halloran (Michael Franti), cellist Ward Williams (Brandi Carlile) and Grammy® nominated musician Seth Glier. Other contributors to the album include accordionist Rob Curto (Lila Downes), along with guest vocals from Gabrielle Louise and rising twin musical prodigies Nalani & Sarina.
Rachael Sage is an award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, label-owner and activist from NYC who has become one of the busiest touring artists in indie music, performing 100+ dates a year throughout the US, UK and Europe. She’s shared stages with Dar Williams, Ani DiFranco, Judy Collins, Marc Cohn, and Shawn Colvin, among others. Her “PseudoMyopia” tour will begin in March, and continue throughout 2019.
4, No One Is To Blame
6. This Darkness
8. Snowed In
10. Maybe She'll Have Cats