A.Wake is the musical moniker of Anita Wake, a fascinating and innovative singer-songwriter and musician based in Sheffield, England. She’s been a member of several bands, in which she played bass and sang backing vocals, and more recently, decided to start creating music as a solo artist. With a keen interest in sound therapy, mysticism and the healing properties of music, she seeks to incorporate healing frequencies and modern music elements into her songs.
She released her enchanting debut single “Lemuria” this past July, and followed in October with her darkly stunning second single “Railings“, which I’m featuring today. Inspired by an idea by r. Crampton, A. Wake wrote and recorded the song, sang vocals and played keyboards, while Steve Hulme produced the track. About the song, A.Wake says “‘Railings’ is a modern synth sound song, embedded with a healing frequency to align the heart chakra, to help heal feelings of sadness and loss.”
Opening and closing with sounds of pealing church bells, the song is both beautiful and haunting. The dramatic and stunning swirling orchestral synths have a mysterious quality, punctuated by moments of piercing sharpness and booming percussion, all of which create a ghostly cinematic soundscape. A.Wake’s layered vocals are bewitching mix of mellifluous croons and breathy whispers, adding to the song’s spooky ethereal vibe. Though I cannot pinpoint exactly where the healing frequency lies within the song, I will say that the sounds and overall aura are so powerful and resonant, I can feel its existence.
The lyrics are sung from the perspective of someone who’s already passed away to a loved one who’s still living and missing them, trying to reassure and comfort them in their grief: “The railings round my grave, hold ivy for you. You are not to blame, I died before you. Heaven is to blame, I’ve cried for you. Patience is the game, I’m trying to be. Saying your name. I feel you near me. Looking at your frame, I watch you watch me. If I could hold you just a day. If you could hold me in some way, I’ll know.”
The video for “Railings” was created by PSYNC and directed by Douglas John Thorp, with images of A.Wake singing the song superimposed against footage of her in a Sheffield cemetery shot by Thorp and Rob Cohen. Thorp had this to say about its creation: “There’s a beautiful simplicity to it, dealing with love & loss across the divide that needed a stripped down approach to match. All the shots are hand-held in one location & the video splits itself into two halves: yearning & the possibility of rebirth. Fans of Ari Aster’s ‘Midsommar’ may spot a few unashamed influences here, particularly the use of strong daylight as an unsettling presence. Perhaps also some of the 1970s British folk horror tropes where landscape & natural sounds signify something altogether more disturbing.”