Image by Erin Baiano
Since debuting in 1995, Rachael Sage has remained one of music’s most inimitable iconoclasts (the New York Times rightly compared her to the late/legendary model-comedian Fanny Brice), always appearing relevant, but mostly floating along in her own self-created universe. And we’ve always particularly admired how that universe happens to be meticulously aesthetically and ideologically cultivated.
Naturally, we’re honored to be premiering her latest single, “Olivia” – a striking work of pop-noir, with distinctly profound lyrics inspired by an intriguing obsession with a very well known television character: Law & Order SVU‘s Olivia Benson…as played by the luminous Mariska Hargitay.
Over a slightly somber, almost gothic-folk undercurrent (the song actually reminds us a bit of the Peter Murphy classic “Cuts You Up”), Sage is nevertheless breathless, perhaps even devotional in her lyrical adulations. Indeed, she poignantly promises, “I’d give you everything I own / To free you from a life unknown.” Who could possibly say no to such an overture?
“I have been watching the brilliantly talented Mariska Hargitay bring this fiercely intelligent, empathetic and heroic character to life for many years,” she enthuses, “and various episodes have inspired me to write songs, poems and even paint pictures.”
She continues, “When you watch Law & Order SVU, there is always a certain amount of tension you experience, because on the one hand there are nefarious characters doing terrible things and the subject matter can be extremely violent and disturbing…but on the other, there is this very soulful, strong woman, bringing criminals to justice and comforting victims.”
Sage is currently on a North American tour with synth-pop legend Howard Jones through March 11, and will be appearing at SXSW the following week. Her new album, Myopia, will be released later this spring.