Premiere: Rachel Croft’s Smoldering “I Won’t Turn You Away” Is a Cinematic Reckoning with Grief & Loss

Rachel Croft © Andy Little
Rachel Croft © Andy Little
London-based singer/songwriter Rachel Croft reckons with grief and loss on her visceral song”I Won’t Turn You Away,” an intimate and cinematic eruption aching with intense pain, love, and longing.
Stream: “I Won’t Turn You Away” – Rachel Croft

Were there an entirely different song soundtracking it, watching Rachel Croft walk through a picturesque sun-dappled landscape could have been a moment of bliss; a brief escape into bucolic, pastoral delights far removed from our otherwise busy, bustling lives. The sun might have felt warm as its rays streaked across the ground, hitting the camera in such a way that produced vivid starbursts and colorful lens flares on the film. The image of a lone woman walking through the forest might have felt quaint – even poetic.

Watching it all through the perspective of “I Won’t Turn You Away,” it just hurts. A visceral eruption from intimate, raw depths, Rachel Croft’s new song is a a cinematic reckoning with grief and loss that aches with intense pain, love, and longing. It’s a smoldering reminder of loss’ irreconcilable and enduring permanence; of death’s all-consuming nature; and of the sheer unavoidable weight of a loved one’s absence.

I Won’t Turn You Away - Rachel Croft
I Won’t Turn You Away – Rachel Croft
There’s rain in your hair
It’s stained all your shoes
The kind that falls lightly
The kind that can soak you right through
Step through the door
Bags in your hand
And words on your face
Words that you had all planned but

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “I Won’t Turn You Away,” Rachel Croft’s first single of 2023 (independently out May 19, 2023). Active throughout the past six years, Croft has made a name for herself throughout London and beyond as an emotive and uncompromising alternative artist. Her 2021 EP Reap What You Sow remains a stirring example of the brute power and pure passion she puts not only into her voice, but also into every other aspect of her work.

Rachel Croft © Andy Little
Rachel Croft © Andy Little

Following on the heels of last year’s standalone singles “Hurricane” and “Weaver Bird,” “I Won’t Turn You Away” finds Croft unapologetic and at the top of her game, channeling a deep inner pain into cathartic musical beauty.

“‘I Won’t Turn You Away’ is a colossal, slow-burning ballad about grief, and the struggle to let go,” she tells Atwood Magazine. “When you begin writing and your eyes fill with tears, that’s when you know you’re really digging into something that’s real.”

The first time Croft sings the refrain, “I won’t turn you away,” her voice is a soft and brooding hush. That subdued energy doesn’t last long; her spirit rises as she sings the second verse over lilting piano chords, ultimately coming to a fever pitch. It’s as if through spilling her guts through song, she can rid herself of these overwhelming emotions eating away inside her.

Where will you go
Is it somewhere I’d know
I hope that it’s peaceful there
Cliché of blue skies, fresh air
I won’t turn you away
No I won’t turn you away
No I won’t ask you to stay
But I can’t leave us this way
Rachel Croft © Andy Little
Rachel Croft © Andy Little

“Grief is so complex, and at the time of writing this song, I was seemingly surrounded by different types of it all at once,” Croft explains. “When you write to that person who’s lost someone, what the hell do you even say? I don’t blame people at all for not wanting to let go, to live with the memories and keep them alive. This song was written from their point of view.”

“We shaped the song like the outburst of real emotion. It builds, then erupts, then sputters, ebbs and quietens. I love the journey in songs and I try to really bring imagery out in the words. I want the film scene to play in your head, immerse you in the story. Cinema and drama has always been something that massively inspires all of my songwriting.”

“‘I Won’t Turn You Away’ was the easiest song I ever recorded. I told Isaac (McInnis, of Crooked Room Studio) I wanted a wall of sound. He just got it. Within a matter of hours we had this massive sounding demo which I couldn’t stop listening to all night. It made me cry happy tears because he totally fucking nailed it. I never knew it could be so effortless. The result was just so raw and powerful, so unrestricted. This song didn’t really have the easiest start, even though I was really proud of it, somewhere along the way it was forgotten. I’m so glad it came up for discussion on our demo day, and I didn’t give up on it. I knew this one could be so powerful.”

I Won't Turn You Away - Rachel Croft still
Rachel Croft – “I Won’t Turn You Away” music video still

When you’re really in it, grief feels unavoidable and all-consuming, and “I Won’t Turn You Away” captures that experience with stunning finesse.

Even as we watch Croft walk through the woods in her Andy Little-directed visualizer, we can’t help but feel a cool chill run down the spine. Only when she breaks out and really lets loose do our bones start to warm up – and even then, we’re still unsettled. Loss means that even euphoria – even catharsis – has a shadow; a darkness that no amount of light can get rid of.

Still, that outpouring does feel good; it’s the musical and emotional climax Croft needed to make for herself, and the one that all but ensures we keep returning to this song for months and years to come. Stream Rachel Croft’s “I Won’t Turn You Away” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Memories cling to this place
Nothing stings like your name
I’ve never seen such a waste
‘Cos it’s just me and the rain
I won’t turn you away
No I won’t turn you away
I can’t breathe through this pain
But I won’t turn you away

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:: stream/purchase “I Won’t Turn You Away” here ::
:: connect with Rachel Croft here ::
Stream: “I Won’t Turn You Away” – Rachel Croft

— — — —

I Won’t Turn You Away - Rachel Croft

Connect to Rachel Croft on
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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Andy Little

:: Stream Rachel Croft ::

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