Sarah Darling has landed in the UK. Again. She spent most of last year recording her new album over here and, it seems, she still likes us.
“British men dress nice and you can say anything in that accent and it would just sound perfect.”
I’ve never had my cockney voice described as ‘perfect’, so she’s probably thinking of her Surrey hubby’s more refined pronunciation.
But while popping across the Atlantic may now be ‘business as usual’, the year has started with an unexpected turn for Sarah Darling, and for the many artists working on their albums through PledgeMusic. In January it emerged the site, which enabled fans to fund musicians through preorders and ‘pledges’, had hit financial problems and weren’t paying out. Artists, just like the fans, were left in the dark, turning to social media for clues or solidarity. Then, in February, Pledge advised its musicians to suspend their current campaigns, raising questions over whether they’d be able to fulfil promises on existing projects, like Sarah’s new Wonderland album which was scheduled for release on March 1st.
So, what do you do when your plan for the year is thrown into uncertainty?
For Sarah, it was fans first;
I was so shocked and stressed out…
The people who’ve pre-ordered the album are my super-fans so I just wanted to send a message, even though didn’t know what I was gonna say. I just wanted fans to know they didn’t have to worry, the album might be late but we’ll get it out.”
The very morning after the announcement, she sent her supporters this message:
Despite the album being delayed to later this year, instead of staying in her Nashville home baking macaroons (which is Sarah’s other serious talent), it’s on with the show. So, yes, Sarah Darling is back in the UK again, to once more indulge in the “magical London walks” she loves, but mainly for a run of shows debuting the new music which would’ve been released this week.
So far, the album tracks have been performed at an intimate Nashville show for friends and family, but the UK is getting the first big outing for the Wonderland material. It’s a chance to hear how our isles, and the eclectic producers she worked with over here, have impacted the Iowa singer’s sound.
“I was all over the place, songwriting in Hay-on-Wye, London, Brighton… I’m a country artist through and through and I’m a Nashville artist but I wanted to get to a different geographical location and see what would happen.”
“It’s more contemporary. One song, Enjoy the Ride, is really funky and it’s so different for me. But I love performing it and I’ll want the audience to have fun with it.”
Despite this foray into pop sounds, thankfully we have not stripped Sarah of the personal, pensive songwriting we’ve experienced this far as one new song in particular demonstrates.
“I’m really into a song called Fire at the moment. Sometimes you write a song that is your identity. Where Cowboys Ride was one of those and Fire is like that.”
Fire was inspired by a Vincent van Gogh quote spotted while out in London and speaks about chasing dreams and the fire inside that won’t let an artist give up on them. But, fear not, the new songs aren’t replacing Sarah’s love for her older music, and the tour wont neglect her classics either. There’s something intriguing on the horizon for signature song Where Cowboys Ride and, in a way, Sarah has PledgeMusic to ‘thank’ for that.
“It [the PledgeMusic situation] is all working out for the good. It means we can get the album out with a bigger company and to more people, plus it’s led to me working on a special project with Where Cowboys Ride.”
It is this zen-like positivity, even in these disappointing circumstances, that rings through Sarah’s Darling’s music and performances.
WIN SARAH DARLING TOUR TICKETS
If you’d like to hear Sarah live (of course you would!) we’re giving away three pairs of tickets to any of her UK headline shows. To enter, comment below with the name of your favourite Sarah Darling song and which of the below shows you’d like to attend*. For more chances to win, head to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts and enter there too.
SARAH DARLING’S 2019 WONDERLAND TOUR
Tuesday 12 March: Glasgow, Oran Mor
Wednesday 13 March: London, Bush Hall
Thursday 14 March: Norwich, Arts Centre
Saturday 16 March: Manchester, Deaf Institute
Sunday 17 March: Liverpool, Leaf
Monday 18 March: Bristol, The Fleece
Wednesday 20 March: Brighton, Komedia
Thursday 21 March: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
*Enter by midnight on Sunday 3rd March 2019 as we’ll be randomly selecting a winner on Monday 4th March 2019.