Escaping the oppressive southern summer heat for six weeks, she took temporary roots in Colorado while teaching songwriting at a nearby festival and touring the southwest. Her intent was to finish writing the songs for her new album, Novel, during her downtime. Just out of a five-year publishing deal on Nashville’s Music Row, Sarah was inspired by the idea of exploring her sound as a musician and her vision as an artist. Bathing in this newfound freedom, her creativity burgeoned and she was soon setting up a microphone in the spare bedroom and hitting record. It began with the recording of a simple guitar and vocal track for "Nowhere In The Middle", a song that explores the dangers of loving someone too much.
Unable to put the track away, she found herself in the kitchen pantry grabbing salt canisters, dry rice, and oatmeal boxes to create a percussion section. She made a snare out of a storage box with sheets of paper taped to the top. Swept away by the muse, Sarah would continue to record the rest of the songs this way, finishing it with just one microphone, several guitars (including her beloved Gibson, Larry), and "found sounds” from her home back in Nashville. Sarah engineered, tracked and produced “Novel” with no boundaries, no one else in the room, on her own. Despite her isolation, the theme of the album became human connection and no single song onNovel illustrates that better than the title track, a song that reminisces about ‘old-fashioned’ pre-internet friendship and courtship.
“Growing up, the thought of using technology to connect with another human never crossed my mind," says Sarah. "People dropped by, there were hours upon hours of sitting on a floor talking with friends and family, and we listened to and played music together." Novel's lead track is "Yellow and Blue", an Alice in Wonderland-esque take on wandering into uncharted territory, whether it be a stranger's garden or a new relationship. "I had the most vividimagination as a child, always craving that buzz of a new experience...I hope I never lose that."What follows is songwriting study touching on emotional chapters we all face: shouting up to ask for relief ("Take Me"), falling head over heels ("Feeling For You", "I Think About Love"), breaking down ("Crying On A Plane", "You're Still There"), children growing up and out ("Welcome Home"), and fighting with and for love ("Nowhere In The Middle", "Rescue You"). The closing track is a raw and chugging version of the spiritual "Didn't It Rain", made famous by Mahalia Jackson.
The tambourine sounds are children's instruments Sarah strapped to her ankles. Sarah makes jewelry from charms, beads and the like that she finds while on the road and sells them on Etsy and at her live gigs. Though wheat/dairy free, Sarah can (thankfully) still drink good beer and shares recipes, tips and restaurant/brewery suggestions on her food blog. Born and raised in North Carolina, she makes her home in Nashville, TN. Read more on Last.fm.
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