Rachael Cardiello is the mastermind of alternative pop act ZINNIA. She combines a variety of instrumentation including synthesizers and analog sounds to create an intense yet ultra-melodic songs. Her latest song, “Requiem,” which we’re very excited to bring to you as a premiere today.
“I spent most of my twenties processing my dad’s death – thinking, writing and singing about it,” said ZINNIA. “In some ways, I feel like I processed it so fully that I grew a thick callus around the part of the loss that was very raw and fragile. At times I’ve resented the tough skin which was necessary to get through that hard time. I wrote “Requiem” on the plane ride home to Montana to mark the 10 year anniversary of his death. It felt like a significant milestone, and I was curious to see how my grief would change.”
Lyrically, this sentiment is quite obvious in “Requiem.” She opens the song over a fluttering piano line singing “I held your suffering / I didn’t want it / I’ve got a tough skin.” As the song progresses otherworldly synthesizers enter the mix as the vocalist increases the intensity of the song, with the refrain of “I’ve got a tough skin” popping up throughout the song.
While she currently calls the metropolis of Toronto her home, ZINNIA grew up in the remote Montana mountains. The name of her debut studio album, Sensations in Two Dot, is a reference to the tiny town with a population of less than 150 people near Cardiello’s hometown. The nine songs on this upcoming album “probe the complex, unsettling similarities found in the human experience: the hauntings of unrelenting dreams, tensions and tender triumphs in relationships, systems of abuse threaded through communities, and the search for compassion and visibility in everyday interactions.” The record will be released on November 22.
Cardiello has established herself as a prominent musician in the Toronto alternative scene, performing live and in the studio along with artists such as Tim Darcy of Ought, The Wooden Sky, Abigail Lapell, David Beckinghem, Hey Ocean!, Mary Lambert, The Elwins, Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Grand Analog and Skye Wallace. Prior to the release of “Requiem,” Cardiello has released a couple of other tracks as ZINNIA, including “Black Bark, Yellow Leaves,” “Bullets” and “Lupins.” On Monday November 18, 2019, those local to Toronto can check out a special album release in which nine choreographers will interpret the nine songs on the album in a unique performance described as a visually-led listening party. The event will be held at Toronto’s Array Space.
Featured Photo by Jenna Ledger. Makeup by Samantha Couture.