We would get together to practice songs for a Sunday and then end up jamming the whole night. I had so much fun letting loose and playing from the heart that I never wanted to stop. – Rachel
GETTING TO KNOW SONNET COTTAGE…
Interview by Jacqueline Jax / Radio host & music journalist
I knew I wanted to be in music when……
Rachel ( lead singer) In early High School, my friends and I were on a worship band together. We would get together to practice songs for a Sunday and then end up jamming the whole night. I had so much fun letting loose and playing from the heart that I never wanted to stop. A few of my friends especially left an impression on me because they played and sang all the time and I saw a passion that I really wanted. I then took vocal lessons my Junior and Senior year in college (2008-2009) with Torey and we started developing our talent…and then we met Kent in 2010 and the rest is history!
The song “Say”…
Rachel I wrote “Say” to kind of compare and contrast the emotions that you feel at different instances in a relationship. In all three instances, getting asked out, saying I love you for the first time, and breaking up, there’s a sense of anxiousness and expectation. As the receiver, you are just thinking, Get it over with! I already know what you’re going to “Say”. For the first two instances, it’s a happy nervousness and your heart is racing with anticipation, just waiting for them to reveal their deeper feelings. With the last instance, you can use similar verbiage of your heart racing, but it’s in a totally different light. You feel dread at what’s to come and wish they would just say it already so you can leave and move on.
The music scene in my town…
Kent (Producer) DC metro is full of great music venues of course, both small and large. We really like hanging out at Jammin Java, a local venue that brings in local acts but also well know acts (like Laura Veirs!)
Artists that influence me…
Rachel : I would have to say Glen Hansard and Damien Rice share the spot for my favorite artist. They both are so passionate and raw with their music and I feel so moved every time I listen to them. I remember hearing The Blowers Daughter for the first time and just crying because it was so beautiful. I felt the same when I watched the movie Once for the first time and witnessed Glen belting it out, heart on the table, singing exactly what he felt. I think they influenced me to keep my instrumentation simple and let the vocals do a lot of the work. Also, I love a good build from gentle, swelling verses into a loud, emotional chorus. I actually saw Glen at the Lincoln Theater in DC recently and that was amazing. He was fantastic live, so much personality and a genuinely, heart-felt performance. Now, I just need to see Damien before I die and I
will be happy!
Kent: I will add that Rachel and I like a lot of the same artists, but our
writing style differs a little when it comes to the instrumentation. As
she stated above, she likes songs that are more bare bone (i.e. Say) and since I am an instrumentalist by trade I tend to produced (and sometimes over produce) songs with a lot of layers.
Vocalists Rachel Russell and Torey Russell, Buddy Speir on guitars, Jeff Reed on Bass, Andy Hamburger on drums. Produced by Kent Heckaman. Sonnet Cottage is an acoustically driven, indie alternative folk group based in northern Virginia. Their first release “Another Time” is available through CD Baby, Amazon or iTunes. Their 2nd album “Half Written Story” will be released in 2015.