RAE KELLY and her ancient echo ‘Ignorant as Icarus’

I’m super excited to introduce you today to Rae Kelly, a Dublin-born singer, songwriter and composer, currently based in Hertfordshire, UK. Her new single, released last December has an intriguing and provoking name, ‘Ignorant as Icarus’, as well as intriguing and mesmerising is the structure / non-structure of this chamber-pop gem, where the voice lyes on the non-stop piano pattern – it sounds like Tori Amos had a strong influence here – and other instruments layer up with no rush, to unveil a complex tapestry of notes. Rae, who started with music at 10, after finishing a degree in Music Technology and Ancient Classics , relocated to the UK to complete a Masters in Composition for Film and Media at the University of Hertfordshire. Her attitude for a composing process that targets the film industry is loud and clear. In July 2012 she was invited to play at the ZMF Festival in Freiburg, Germany, which also featured performances from Janelle Monae and Patti Smith.  

“’Ignorant as Icarus’ was born from feelings of isolation, loneliness and uncertainty… The song came together one evening in my final year of university. I was studying Music Technology at the time (hence the Greek mythology). It’s one of a few songs that came together in one sitting….I won’t go into detail… let’s just say I was feeling a bit blue!”

As Rae admits “ I was filled with anxiety and dread” while composing it, so I was, while listening. The song translates well in sound an unstable balance that could have gone at any moment, a continuous tension. I guess the message here is that tension helps us to survive, helps us not to underestimate what’s around us, as opposed to Icarus, we don’t want to fly neither too low nor too high.“Today, having come out the other side, it has taken on a more hopeful sentiment.” – Rae says.