Interview: Rachel Sermanni


Hey guys! 

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the internet. I am incredibly fascinated by the fact that it allows you to connect with people from all over the world.
It made me meet people I would've never met otherwise and that's just really absolutely fantastic.

The internet and technology also allows us to speak to people who we can't hang out with in person, via Skype for example.

And just earlier this week I video chatted with the absolutely lovely Rachel Sermanni.

Rachel Sermanni is a musician from the Highlands of Scotland.
Influenced by Joni Mitchell, Bjork, Tom Waits and traditional music, Rachel creates an unique folk sound.

The young singer/songwriter has been touring through the UK, Canada, USA, Australia, Iceland and Europe, either on her own or whilst supporting acts such as Mumford and Sons, Ron Sexsmith and Elvis Costello.

Her first album "Under Mountains" came out in 2012 and has drawn many music lovers across the world to her sound.
Just last month the talented musician released her second album called "Tied To The Moon".

In the interview we spoke about the album, travel preferences, record players and cats.

house in the sand: So Rachel, I've checked out your social media channels and you've been to Canada just a little while ago. Can you tell us what it was like to be there?

Rachel Sermanni: Well, it was beautiful. It was warm, very warm.
 I had gigs from the very start all the way through. I played two festivals and then toured between those festivals, so I started with one and then went all the way through and I was only in the East of Canada so I went from Nova Scotia over to as far as Toronto and it was lovely, but also intense because we were driving the whole way and it was very warm. 
But it was fun and it's always successful in Canada and it just feels nice to be there. 

HITS: So you've just mentioned it all involves a lot of traveling. Do you have a preference on how to travel? Using the train? Plane? Car?

Rachel: I love going by train. Although I'm starting to get into busses a lot, they're a lot cheaper. For example in Germany! Isn't that where you live?

HITS: Yes, exactly. 

Rachel: In Germany there are some really good bus systems, like there's wifi on the busses and they're much cheaper than the trains. So when I was in Germany, I toured a lot by bus.
I really like trains though, I think that's my favourite way of traveling. Especially when I'm going back to the Highlands. I'm in London just now and I'm off to Scotland soon. I'll be sleeping on a bus I think but usually my favourite is to ride the train all the way North because it's so beautiful. Flying is fun but I think it takes more attitude, you lose yourself a little bit more.

HITS: Speaking about Scotland, that's where you grew up. I've never been there but I imagine it's very idyllic and beautiful there. But you also get to travel to a lot of busy places and big cities. Is there any place where you feel more at home?

Rachel: Good question! I more and more feel a little torn as to what I call home.
I don't know where to go, I have a lovely home in Scotland with my family in the Highlands but it is getting to that stage where I think it would be nice to call another place home just to have an actual space rather than just a bedroom.
But I don't know where that is yet. Whenever I go to Canada, I feel a very strong urge to be there for a long time. 

HITS: That's amazing! Your new album is called "Tied To The Moon". Would you say there are a lot of differences between your old and new material?

Rachel: Yeah, I think there's more rhythm in the new songs, it's a little bit noisier. To listen to the new songs are noisier, they're more rhythmic and almost more conventional.
I've kept it quite simple in a way in terms of the chords. A lot of them are quite minimal and I never would've played those chords on my first album which was when I didn't want to have anything to do with what I thought was too popular. So yeah, it's different but at the same time the feelings in the songs are quite the same, they're just thoughts that I'm exploring and obsessing over. And that's always the feeling of writing a song. 

HITS: You once said that a lot of your songs are influenced by your dreams. Does that still happen? And if so, what does the writing process look like - do you just wake up and write a song?

Rachel: Erm, no, actually in the new album I'm taking less from my dreams.
But in the first album I really drew images from my dreams so a lot of the songs are images I'm speaking of, are actually dreamscapes that were in my head.
 But in this new album I think I'm playing with symbolism which is what a dream can be, symbolic. But less dreams and more looking at reality and then maybe turning it into my own dream, just through the symbolism. I think it's important for me to pay attention to my dreams.

HITS: That's just so fascinating. What I find really amazing about your new record is that it's available on vinyl as well. Do you also listen to records yourself?

Rachel: I didn't listen to records until maybe last year.
Because I tour a lot, I don't get to listen to  records very often but when I'm home I have a very, very old record player that I found in a bar on a farm and I bought lots of records in charity shops and I'm actually going record shopping today. I don't have too many records but the vinyls that I do have I love to listen to, especially the classics. 

HITS: So when we're speaking about different music - do you have any tips of acts everyone should listen to?

Rachel: Yes! Right now I'm listening to The Barr Brothers, they're a very good band. They have an album called "Sleeping Operator".
 I supported a band last night called The Punch Brothers, they're also very good and have no connection with the name, haha!
And Sufjan Stevens' new album I'm really enjoying, it's called "Carrie & Lowell" and it's beautiful.

--- Editor's note: At this point my cat named Melody decided to take her name way too serious and started meowing like mad. I have the door of the room I'm in closed when I do interviews and little miss Melody wasn't a fan of that. This isn't an informing part of the interview, but it was a lovely little bit of it, therefore I'm leaving it in the edit for you to have a little giggle. ---

HITS: By the way, if you hear a cat screaming, that's mine.

Rachel: Oh!!! Is it?

HITS: Yeah, that's mine. And she's not being hurt, she just wants to come into the room. 

Rachel: It's too loud where I am, so I can't really hear it.

HITS: That's good! It's really annoying!

Rachel: My cat's exactly the same, she's just hungry all the time. 

HITS: Oh yeah, we know all about that!

Rachel: I love cats but they're hungry all the time. They only think about themselves. And food.

HITS: Exactly! Alright, let's get back to the music. Nowadays social media plays a massive part in the music industry. Are you a fan of it or do you get annoyed with the whole internet thing sometimes?

Rachel: I think I do get annoyed with the whole internet thing every now and then.
My trouble is not the internet itself but my addiction to it. I like to stay away from it as much as possible.
 I know it's very important to be on the social media, and it's very enjoyable because it's where people show a lot of support and I am very grateful for that. And I share lots of interesting things with people on the internet, I love that.
But my preference is that I don't carry an iPhone with me so that I don't have to look at the internet whilst I'm out and about. I just look at it when I'm on my laptop. 

HITS: That's really clever and really good!

Rachel: It feels nice! 

HITS: Alright, for the final question: what are you up to next?

Rachel: Well, I'm going to Scotland. I've been touring all of July. I got back and it was very, very busy this past weekend.
I've not had very much sleep - so, first up: sleep! In the Highlands of Scotland.
And then I'm going to do a bunch of promo in August, just doing some interviews, going to Amsterdam and doing some radio shows and interviews there. And then I will go on tour in Holland first, then Germany. And then I think I'm going to Italy in November.
Busy Autumn!

HITS: Wow! Well, all the best for that and thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us.

Rachel: Thank you so much, it was a pleasure! Hope to see you again!

Rachel Sermanni online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Screenshot from the lovely interview. Big smiles! Thanks Rachel!

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text & Questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Anwers: Rachel Sermanni | Image: Rachel Sermanni Facebook (Mike Guest Photography)  


  1. Thank you for the nice interview.
    We look forward to Rachels visits in Germany :)

    1. Thank you for your comment, Claudia! I'm really glad you enjoyed the interview. :)
      Have a great time at Rachel's shows.


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