Week in Pop: Amber Ryann, Proudest Ever, Sedona

Sjimon Gompers

Introducing LA by Brooklyn's breakout auteur/pop star Sedona; photographed by Mikhail Zalesky.


Presenting the pop world of Sedona, aka Rachel Stewart; photographed by Amanda Adam.

Introducing LA by way of Brooklyn’s Sedona who announced the upcoming audiovisual EP Home Before Dawn available this fall presenting a debut listen to “Call Me Up“. A cinematic auteur & aspiring pop star, Sedona entertains celestial hopes where rhythms & hymns soar like doves of destiny with a message & ethic of femme empowerment, self-care, empathy & community. Sedona, aka Rachel Stewart, takes her moniker from the spiritual land of Sedona, Arizona that holds a profound meaning for the artist. “[Sedona, Arizona] flows back into the intention behind my music,” Rachel explained, “to heal, to nurture & to hold its listeners—it is also my earliest and one of my only childhood memories of both of my parents together.” Created from coast to coast, Stewart further described the creative process; “[We] started recording it in LA, finished it in NYC, the song is bi-coastal, like me.” An all around inclusive event, Rachel got as many loved ones involved as possible. “With my boyfriend Harry Cubberly of Treatment on guitar, my dad Elde Stewart on bass, my middle school forever pal Henry Vaughn on the drums, and my best friend Mack Keane producing the song, the creation of “Call Me Up” was a family affair,” Rachel elaborated, providing further insights on the single’s collaborative creation & enlightening intent; “Call Me Up” is about knowing your own worth & making others feel empowered.”

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From the twinkling star chimes that lead the audience into the foyer of the track, the Sedona experience starts with washes of backwards warped audio effects that oscillate between the elusive points of desire & mystery. Sedona’s song of veiled glances & clandestine affections sort through the obfuscated exchanges of mixed & missed signals in the lover’s sport of being both guarded & playing the games of hard to get. The chorus title call takes a new twist on the throwback paradigm of waiting by the phone where Sedona’s reiterations of my heart is not that easy engages in the rituals of courtship where the rules of courtly love & attraction are spelled out in the need for proper dialogue. Indulging in a smooth lover’s rock style with shades of evening feelings that surface once the twilight has faded; Sedona sings out the secrets of the heart in lyrics that seem like something both out of a diary entry or unsent Valentine’s letter where an overwhelming affinity for another underscores a need for reciprocated discourse. “Call Me Up” shows how even the most cosmic of connections between two people must always be a two-way street of respect & understanding based on generative exchanges that can elevate each other upward upon the same plane (and perhaps even higher).

Sedona, oka polymath Rachel Stewart; photographed by Mikhail Zalesky.

Sedona shared the following insights on “Call Me Up” taken from the forthcoming zine for the debut single:

My art serves as a remedy of self-reflection for femmes and allies. With a focus on confrontation, acceptance, and inclusivity, I aim to cultivate a community of rockers, rollers, and midnight strollers through the stories I create in my songs. Mending my personal life with the larger politics of power in our world today, this song is a femme anthem. With it I hope to unite femmes together through the thick of it all: the male gaze, sexism, and abuse we face day to day is traumatizing. This song is meant to heal. This song is meant to hold. This song is meant to love, support, and defend one another, especially in today’s toxic political climate.

Sedona & company behind the scenes of the “Call Me Up” video; photographed by Amanda Adam.

“Call Me Up” is about knowing your own worth and making others feel empowered. We don’t need a man’s gaze to feel validated. This song and video explore the gender politics behind romance, femmehood, and empathy. “Call Me Up” takes a stand for all the different hats a femme wears in society. From the fierce and feral rawness we embody innately to the synthesized and tamed composure we have to unleash in order to be taken seriously in society. We do it all for you.


Keep up with Sedona via Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud & Apple Music.

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