The entrancing ‘Sacred Regard’ features gentle guitar and the delicately understated vocal combination of Rachel Fannan and Jacob Miller. Fannan and Miller bring out the best in one another, creating a contemporary folk gem. The blend of their pure, melodic voices is full of heartache and heartbreak. There’s a charming romantic feel to ‘Sacred Regard’, which narrates the story of a couple who enjoyed the chemistry of one night together but failed to make that longer-term connection. Fannan explains some of the inspiration behind the song: “Sometimes I come up with what I should have said at the moment months later when I’m writing a song about the person or situation. ‘Sacred Regard’ is that look that falls over your face when the other person’s not looking, and you’re just tripping out on how beautiful they are.” Miller continues: “Between the vocal harmonies, verb-ed out guitar textures, and lost-love themes, this song holds true to elements of songwriting and storytelling that are hard to find in the modern-day.” There’s a haunting feeling of nostalgia in ‘Sacred Regard’, a sense of missed opportunity and how life’s beautiful moments can be tinged with regret and loss.
The pair met in Portland, Oregon, when Fannan was on tour with Canadian rock band Black Mountain, eventually leading the two acclaimed musicians to collaborate. Miller is best known for featuring on The Voice in the USA, working with Nick Jonas and James Taylor and establishing a quietly-effective pop-Americana sound. Look out for his second full-length release, ‘Around My Head’, in 2022. Meanwhile, Fannan has fronted various bands with a rockier edge, such as Only You and San Francisco’s Sleepy Sun. She’s also performed regularly with Russian protest group Pussy Riot as their drummer.
Together, the accomplished pair have created a refreshing, new folk sound. At first glance, it seems an unlikely collaboration but therein lies its strength and inventiveness. Check it out.