Johanna Rittiner Sermier “Regeden”

If the new song “Regeden” were a movie, it would be a Terry Gilliam-style piece. The peculiar and dramatic tones, courtesy of Switzerland’s Johanna Rittiner Sermier, has an undeniable imprint that it leaves on the listener. Where other songs may leave a tattoo or hook the lister with a catchy chorus, it’s Reittner Sermier’s haunting, almost macabre vocals that sink their teeth into the listener’s world. Just when you think it’s going to be a dark song, there are shards of light, glimmers of light and humanity that peak their way through. “Regeden” stays with you like no other song.


A sometimes plunky, erratic guitar flutters about. At first, I thought it was an accordion, as it threw out such a unique tone. The vibrant escapade is daring; it’s a guitar arrangement that is at the crossroads between Flamenco and classical guitar work. I want to see you once again, Reittner Semier sings, dreamily. She’s fierce but hidden in the fabric of her voice is a gentle, more vulnerable spirit. Her artistry is unique, and unbridled. If you were to take the lyrics and the vocals away, the music bedrock would play like a loving dance. The waltz happening in between her voice, the guitar and the rhythm is simply divine.

At times you might think her voice is singing in fear of madness. During other moments, the tempo picks up, and as the rapid guitar gathers, her voice changes and soars. It’s like an awakening – a storm of light, warmth and golden ribbons. It’s hard to turn away, let alone stop listening. This song, to me, felt like a breath of fresh air, and an outcry for love. I think she’s anxious to be loved and learn how to be a better lover. She’s enraptured by the thought of this relationship and the second shot at love, means freedom. She’s ready to be her true self. That demanding guitar beneath her voice is her steady heart – it’s been broken in the past. Maybe even shattered. Not anymore. She’s ready to be back with her true love, even if that means looking in the mirror and not liking what she sees.


This song has many twists and turns, and it leaves the door wide open for interpretation. I like the mystery of it all, the audacity to be vague and so pristine all-at-once. It doesn’t get any better than this – Reittner Semier has that rare vocal quality that hones such an exasperating amount of talent. When I say she’s one of a kind, I really mean it. The way she sings is like a beacon, a siren call. In one measure, she calls out so much and leaves the listener emotionally charged. “Regeden” doesn’t need a rating nor does it need a scorecard. It needs to be listened to; it needs to be shared. Songs like this don’t come around every day and when they do, it’s time to pay attention.

Chadwick Easton


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