Busting out of the bubble of recording new album Depth of Field, Sarah Blasko will be bringing her alluring, yet bracingly direct music alive in the UK next month at Islington Assembly Hall in London on 01 May followed by the Unitarian Church in Brighton on 03 May.
Blasko’s ability to reveal the sometimes shockingly complexities and extreme sides of people is showcased in her personal favourite track ‘Never Let Me Go’. Along with her arresting voice, the video laced with addictive vices and black humour.
“The song is about someone who lures with love and sweetness, then once they ‘have’ someone become a monster. There’s an absurd/immature threat within the song…People are often big babies in relationships. I was interested in the binds that people find themselves in,” Sarah told Australian Times ahead of her hotly anticipated, intimate UK shows.
Blasko’s unique, quirky approach has undoubtedly sealed her fate as a daring darling of the Australian music industry, alongside her outstanding song-writing skills. Ask her what she’s most proud of to date?
“Just doing things the weird and stupid way I do things I guess. I bloom in a peculiar way I think, and in my own, random time,” she said.
Six albums along in her career, and a now a family of her own, lend a sense of confidence that comes from having less time on her hands. Also, says Blasko: “the feeling that I don’t believe I have the time to fuck around anymore like I did when I was younger. I feel the need to make it all count in a much more real way. I try not to bother with ways or means that don’t make me happy or aren’t enjoyable anymore.”
Inside the bubble
“While we were there Trump got elected & Leonard Cohen died, the outside world seeped in, and really affected our moods.”
During two weeks’ recording, in her hometown of Campbelltown, Sydney, Blasko and her band explored the concept of space and atmosphere affecting the sound. They wanted to feel like they were on stage: an inspiring place they love.
“There is a feeling of confidence and power but also one of being cocooned up there.”
But Blasko concedes being in a complete bubble doesn’t give much inspiration to react to.
“It’s always good to find the balance between receiving other information and being absorbed in the work. I think one feeds into or influences the other.”
Helping to maintain a connection, Blasko led a workshop for local girls and a Q&A about the artist in residence experience and spent time in the gallery during the process.
“I think every twist & turn in life shapes you & what you do, how you choose to make music.”
The track ‘Phantom’ is about the influencers in Blasko’s life that she feels she carries with her everywhere like ‘phantom limbs’. For her, the influential people are: “my dad, my best friend Jess, my partner Dave and my son Jerry.”
In ‘Make It Up’, Blasko’s voice blazingly admits infidelity and lies, adopting the guise of a cheat. Adopting other perspectives is not something Blasko does that often, but this perspective really interested her and unsurprisingly, she nailed it.
“I had so many questions about how someone could get to this absurd place where they knew that even if they admitted at the beginning of a relationship that they were a liar and a cheat that they still wouldn’t blow it. Oh, to have a magnetism that was almost bullet proof!
“Even though it’s from someone else’s perspective, I think there is still my own within it though. To say “you’re a woman, just lie back & take it” as a woman carries with it a sadness and an anger. It’s being sung from my lips, and so I think the listener can’t help but see my feelings on the matter.”
How well can we ever know the artist on the stage?
“I think I reveal a lot about myself on the stage and I’m pretty well me. But, I’m always going to look different depending on the person who is looking at me, they want to see me or have been told to see me,” Sarah says.
“But yeah, in essence, I guess you never actually know the person ‘on stage’ and if you tried to get to know them you would mostly get a shock that they’re not who you thought or desperately wanted them to be! People always look so different under lights for starters. I have always gotten a shock to meet performers off stage. Except Cindi Lauper. She was everything she seems to be. I loved her.”
The final track on the album, ‘Leads Me Back’ is hopeful but longing.
“I wanted that song to be the full circle to ‘Phantom’. The album starts out very hopeful and then the journey is fairly intense and layered. ‘Leads Me Back’ returns to the simplicity of wanting holding onto what’s most important and precious in life. A reminder to always do that.”
Catch Sarah Blasko at the Islington Assembly Hall in London, 01 May 2018, supported by Emma Gatrill, presented by Crosstown Concerts – BOOK TICKETS
Sarah will also play the Unitarian Church in Brighton on 03 May – BOOK TICKETS