Stunning songstress Rachael Leahcar releases the title track from her fourth
album – Shadows – to radio this week ahead of her forthcoming national tour.
The powerful track is the perfect prelude to her tour and a chance for
Rachael to share an insight into herself and her songwriting with music fans
before heading out on the road. As one of the rawest tracks on her recent
long-player, Shadows touches on often taboo topics of suicide and mental
illness. For Rachael, releasing it as a single in the lead-up to her tour
was a chance to give audiences an understanding of the song before
performing it live.
“It is a very powerful, emotional song and I needed the message to be
clear,” she says. “If you’re struggling, hurting or in trouble, don’t be
afraid to seek help if you need it. People have called me in tears telling
me how glad they are to hear a song that they can relate to. It has been
full-on at times, but I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to help
people through something I love doing.”
The concept of Shadows was inspired by a close friend who was working for a
charity supporting mental illness. Rachael is no stranger to philanthropy.
She has been an ambassador for the Royal Society of the Blind since 2011 and
one of Vision Australia’s Carols By Candlelight ambassadors in 2012 and
2013. She felt an instant affinity and drawing on her own relationships,
life experiences and the people she has met, and who have impacted her, she
penned Shadows as a tribute, and a beacon of hope.
“There are so many people I care about who are experiencing mental health
issues and I wanted to send out a message of support to people like them,”
says Rachael. “Mental illness does not discriminate, it can affect anyone at
any time. Between 2012 and 2016 in Australia, the average number of suicides
per year was 2,795. There’s so much stigma and shame attached to talking
about your mental state, but this needs to change. We need to encourage
people to talk about what they’re going through with others who they trust
and know that they aren’t a burden to those who love them. They need to know
there’s support out there for them. I’m hoping this song will give them
strength, courage and hope for the future.”
Rachael Leahcar came into the public consciousness in 2012, finishing in the
Top 3 of the first season of The Voice Australia. She captivated the public
with her gorgeous vocals, where approximately four-million people watched
her television audition. Her debut album Shooting Star achieved Gold status,
and her two subsequent releases Romantique and Here Comes The Sun also
debuted in the Top 10. Despite living with a degenerative eye condition and
losing 90% of her vision, Rachael has been working at her musical dream
since she was a child, performing around her home town of Adelaide and
steadily earning acclaim for her incredible talent.
When it came to composing the track, Rachael wrote the bare bones of the
song on the piano, using her voice to help create the depth she envisioned.
In the initial stages, the track was only three minutes – it wasn’t until
she took it into the studio that the final version came to fruition. She
says the first version felt unfinished, as if it wasn’t saying enough. “I
also felt like the production didn’t do the lyric justice,” she says. “I’ve
never had to reconstruct a song before – often I’m so set on what I’ve done,
I find it very hard to change anything. This one needed to be changed to get
the right emotion and message across. I simplified the chorus with fewer
words, added more layers in the vocals including my own backing vocals and
male backing vocals, and instructed the musicians on the track to go their
hardest at the end. Now the song is almost five minutes but it’s exactly how
I first heard it sound in my mind.”
The outcome is a hauntingly beautiful track that reaches out and stays with
you – the pain, turmoil and hope is palpable. Shadows is a credit to Rachael
as a songwriter and performer.
Rachael Leahcar’s single Shadows is released to radio on Friday 20th October
2017. Check out the clip for Shadows
Her album of the same name is out now, independently released through Ambition Entertainment. Rachael’s Shadows tour kicks off in November.
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