We had a chat with the lovely Sarah Darling about her upcoming album ‘Dream Country’, set to be released February 10th:
Hey Sarah! Dan here from yourlifeinasong.com. As you saw in my review, I’m absolutely in love with ‘Dream Country’ – tell us about the idea behind the album and how long you’ve been working on this project.
It’s an album that I had to make, and I’m so happy you adore it! The songs on this record are part of my heart and soul, and I feel like it’s an honest look into who I really am and what I’ve been through. It’s all about keeping your light. I’ve always been a dreamer and over the past two years, I wrote songs that captured that aspect of me. In total, I would say “Dream Country” has been 3 years in the making.
A lot of work has clearly gone into the artistic side of things. From the moment you open the case you’re taken on a journey. When you started working on the album was it your intention to give the listener an experience, both with the music and everything that surrounds it?
I wanted to take people on a journey through my music. That was completely intentional, even down to the space and strings in the tracks. There are plenty of relationship songs out there, but I had something different in my heart. I wanted to take you to the moon and stars! A favorite of mine is “Where Cowboys Ride.” I absolutely love Wyoming and wanted to share that adoration of one of my favorite places on earth on my album. The tracks are cinematic feeling, and full of wanderlust and dreaming. That’s me in every way!
This album has a very different feel to your previous album, and it’s the first one you’ve worked on independently. Did that allow you to have a lot of creative freedom when it came to the song writing process?
I had complete 100 percent creative freedom on this album. I think when I started out the idea, I had set out to do this for me. There was an unfulfilled part of me I hadn’t filled yet in music. The greatest gift is getting to share that with my fans now. They are the whole reason I get to do what I love. The whole process made me deeply attached to “Dream Country.” I love every piece of music I’ve ever recorded. In fact, It’s all part of my journey, and lead me to making this album. I think every artist’s situation is different, but in the end you have to listen to your heart and intuition.
You experimented with a couple of interesting styles on the likes of ‘Montmartre’ with its Parisian touch and ‘You Take Me All The Way’ with its jazzy, Sinatra-like melody. It took me by surprise but you do it beautifully! Have you always been a fan of that kind of material?
I adore crooner music! I experimented quite a bit on the album, and the biggest addition was strings and more strings. I basically wanted you to feel like you were standing on a little cobblestone street in Montmartre when you listened to the track. On “You take me all the way” I wanted you to be transported back in time. Music can take you anywhere you want to go. For example, the string section in “Halley’s Comet” sounds like a comet shooting through the galaxy. While we were recording it, that’s what we were trying to achieve.
‘Starry Eyes’ is a favourite of mine and means a lot personally. It’s one of many songs on the album with a theme of self-belief and perseverance, and in the CD sleeve you mention the challenges you’ve faced in the music industry. Was much of the album born out of these experiences? It must give you a lot of contentment to look back on years gone by with such positivity.
Truly this was a letter to myself and to anyone who just needs a little light. It’s so easy to get disheartened in life, but you have to stay the course, and keep the light in your eyes.
I’m so happy you like this one. It’s becoming one of my favorites on the album.
I know you’re excited for the fans to hear ‘Halley’s Comet’ which was played on Radio 2 a few days ago. It’s a superb track and the orchestration is just gorgeous. Why does this song in particular mean so much to you?
It was amazing to hear it on Radio 2!! It’s such a special song and knew it when I wrote it with Rebekah Powell and Cheyenne Medders. I had written it when I had left a long time label deal. I really didn’t know where I was going or what I was doing, but I had this desire to keep going. It’s about finding your place to shine in the world. I want that for every single person. It means so much because it’s really true to the last two years, and it’s my favorite song I’ve ever written.
You’re also going to be appearing at Buckle & Boots festival which we’re so excited about! Last year’s festival was incredible and this year will be even bigger and better – you must be very excited about that opportunity?
I’m so excited for this!!! I have no idea what to expect, but I’m loving how country music is the next big thing in the UK. I’m looking forward to meeting new fans.
And finally, where can everybody find you on social media to hear about all things ‘Dream Country’?
Yes, I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can go to www.sarahdarling.com to connect to all of those sites. Also “Halley’s Comet” just released to Spotify! We also have some fun things coming to the website soon!
Xo, Sarah Darling