INTERVIEW: SARA DEE

Interview

 

Sara Dee has been described as “a hybrid of Patsy Cline and Madeleine Peyroux”. The L.A. based singer-songwriter talked to The Prickle about her new Christmas single, ‘Christmas in California’.

 

How did you get into singing and songwriting?

Sara Dee: Growing up there was always music on in my house — a pretty balanced diet of oldies, rock ‘n’ roll, standards, and classical.  I always gravitated toward music, and as a kid would stay in my room for hours, teaching myself instruments, and analyzing my favourite songs.  So I suppose the singing and songwriting came as a natural part of my obsession with imitating what I admired.

What inspires you to write?

Sara Dee: I love to write about conflict. And love! Really I find inspiration in anything I’m willing to pay close attention to. But conflict and love are pretty powerful motivators.

Who are your musical heroes?

Sara Dee: There’s so many; if I have to make a short list: Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Beach Boys, Queen, Ella Fitzgerald, Over the Rhine, Lianna LaHavas, Dr. John, Janelle Monet. I mean, I could go on…

Tell us about your new single.

Sara Dee: I wrote ‘Christmas in California’ basically in one sitting, which doesn’t always happen. It was Christmastime; I was on my bed looking out my window; and it looked like summer outside. I felt no ‘holiday spirit’, and honestly, it was kind of sad! I love the subtle rushes of holiday magic, and when I looked around I didn’t see one sign of winter or Christmas. That’s when the lyric, “Christmas is a state of mind”, popped into my brain. From there, I just started thinking about all the imagery of experiencing winter in an endless summer town. And really, the hardest part about that was whittling down which ones to leave in — there are so many! And it was also a great way to pay some hommage to my city of Los Angeles.

What’s next for Sara Dee?

Sara Dee: A couple more singles before the big album in February 2019, In Joy, Vol. 2. It’s my third full-length album, and I’m really excited about it! But first, this is the perfect time of year to check out my Christmas single.

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INTERVIEW: SINNOBER

Interview

 

Acclaimed folk-rock duo Sinnober, Sebastian Brice (Vocals, Guitar) and Natalie Brice (Vocals, Keyboard, Bass), have just released their third album Projection, available now.

 

 

Q: This album seems more richly orchestrated in places, how did that come about?

 

NATALIE: For the last two albums, we were working as a trio with guitar, bass, and drums, which very much informed the arrangements. With Projection we moved away from that setup and had an urge to explore and expand our sound.

SEBASTIAN: Fortunately, one of the many perks of living in Frome is the abundance of creative talent, so local musician friends contributed to the recordings.

NATALIE: We are also pretty obsessed with the albums Hejira and The Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell, and they have undoubtedly informed the sound of Projection.

SEBASTIAN: Her music feels almost genreless and that’s where we feel most comfortable.

 

 

Q: “True North” is an absolutely beautiful song: what inspired you to write a song for your child?

 

SEBASTIAN: Thank you! Our son, Asher, is two years old now, but when we started writing the songs for Projection he was only a few months old, and we were in the throes of new parenthood.

NATALIE: Intense sleep deprivation, coupled with an overwhelming sense of love. Everything felt suddenly very poignant and this song came out of that.

SEBASTIAN: There’s also this rather limiting belief that if you want to be a serious artist, you can’t have children. Ironically, since having a child, our creativity has increased tenfold and because those pockets of space are so rare, when we do get them, we make sure we use them well.

 

 

Q: Tell me about the covers.

 

NATALIE: “No Regrets” is a Tom Rush song from 1968.  It’s one of Seb’s all time favourite songs, and we used to listen to it in the car, on this dodgy Old Grey Whistle Test mixtape, for years, before deciding to cover it. I guess our version is slightly different to the original, in that it’s sung by a female, so that changes the energy.

SEBASTIAN: “When a Knight Won His Spurs” is a song that Natalie used to sing to Asher to get him to sleep. A nostalgic and beautiful song that communicates, in a very imaginative way, the spiritual qualities that need to be nurtured in a child.

NATALIE: “Alexandra Leaving” is the last song on the album. We are massive Leonard Cohen fans. We got trolled by a guy on YouTube, because we’re singing the words as they are in Leonard Cohen’s Book Of Longing and not like his recording of the song.

 

 

Q: What’s next for Sinnober?

 

NATALIE: Our album launch for Projection, at Rook Lane Chapel in Frome, on October 18th!

SEBASTIAN: We’ll perform the album live, with guest musicians, followed by the opportunity for some massage, some couples therapy, and then maybe some more songs.

 

 

Book online now for the Projection album launch.

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