"Railroads", the new single from former NIGHTWISH singer Tarja Turunen, can be streamed below. The song is taken from her upcoming studio album, "In The Raw", which will be released on August 30 via earMUSIC. The heavy-yet-melodic track draws inspiration from the book "Aleph" by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. In it, the writer travels on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and begins to understand better his own spiritual condition through his journey.
Tarja says: "Apparently, it seems like I wrote weird lyrics, yet I pulled inspiration from one book. Paulo Coelho is a very important writer, and I have discovered a lot about myself through his texts. In 'Aleph', he goes on a train journey through Siberia, and he writes a book based on his experiences on that trip. I wanted to go beyond everything and think about myself and my own journey. The whole album is a journey, in a way.
"The funny thing is, 'Railroads' is a very old song which I have had on demo for years," she continued. "It always felt like a train ride and I even named it like that before having any lyrics or before 'Aleph' was published. It's so old I can't even remember when I started writing it, for the first or second album? And I've only finished it now."
As the saying goes, not all that glitters is gold. But then again, not all that is gold necessarily glitters. It was this idea that struck Tarja as she began work on "In The Raw".
Three years on from her last album, 2016's "The Shadow Self", "In The Raw" finds Tarja and her beautiful voice sounding as stunning as ever. Working with many of the same musicians and production team as before, the intention was to bring out the idea of rawness to match the feelings Tarja was having from the very beginning of the process.
"In The Raw" sees Tarja tapping into raw emotion and going to personal places in her lyrics. Opening herself up more than ever before, she says she was left feeling naked by her honesty, but also pleased at where she had gone with her words.
"Gold, we think, is something polished and perfect, sophisticated, a luxury. But in its natural state, it's a raw element," explains the singer. That sentiment encompasses the music on her upcoming album: a combination of sophisticated and refined orchestration, choir, and her classically trained voice with a raw, dark heavy musical core. Simply put, "In The Raw" is a gold-plated work of wonder.
The concept of gold and its raw state extends to the album's artwork. It finds Tarja in St Michael's Cave, Gibraltar, framed in vivid color and golden sheen.
"In The Raw" track listing:
01. Dead Promises (with Björn "Speed" Strid)
02. Goodbye Stranger (with Cristina Scabbia)
03. Tears In Rain
05. You And I
06. The Golden Chamber: Awaken / Loputon Yö / Alchemy
07. Spirits Of The Sea
08. Silent Masquerade (with Tommy Karevik)
10. Shadow Play
Last year, Tarja told Bloodlines that her new album would be "darker" and "a bit heavier" than 2016's "The Shadow Self". But she added that she would never forget "the symphonic side of mine, as my first love of music was classical music, so I will never get away from that."