If you think you have a firm grasp on Sarah Blasko’s sound, you are probably wrong. First arriving on the scene in the early 2000’s, the esteemed songstress has pushed herself further with each album to create music out of her comfort zone, creating a unique sound and style for each of her acclaimed releases, from having an orchestra as her musical accompaniment on 2012’s I Awake, to going completely synth orientated on 2015’s Eternal Return. Now in the midst of recording her 6th studio album, Blasko is yet again experimenting with new sound-scapes.
“It’s a bit hard to say how this new album will sound because it keeps morphing and things keep shifting around. Originally I wanted it to be quite a minimal and spacious record, and I think it’s getting fuller by the day. So I’m not too sure what it is at the moment, it’s just kind of weirdly uncategorised,” says the charismatic Sydney-based vocalist.
“I always try and explain in a concise way what this record is about, but it’s not just about one thing. I guess this record is kind of somewhere between joy and sorrow and the connection between those emotions. Sometimes you can feel on top of the world, but sometimes the things that are actually the most joyous in life can be attached to a lot of pain, or you have ended up at an amazing experience but you have gone through a lot of heartache to get there. I guess that’s how I would describe it – it’s sort of the agony and ecstasy of life, and how they can work hand in hand.
“It’s all kind of come out of this time last year; I did an Artist In Residence at the Campbelltown Art Centre for two weeks. All of these songs where written during that period. We were very productive during that time, and I really liked the stuff we came up with so I kept working on it,” she says.
Although unsure of exactly what fans should expect of her upcoming release, Blasko revealed that her variety of music over her previous albums has been a major influence for this release, blending many of her previous sounds together.
“I’m working on string stuff at the moment but I guess I’m trying to find ways to do that differently from what I’ve done before. I’m a sucker for strings, I love strings and I love the process of recording strings. This time around, I am very interested in blending those two sounds,” Blasko explains. “I have still been writing a lot of music on keyboards, but it’s pretty bass and drums driven. It’s kind of a combination of elements of my last record, and some elements from I Awake.
“I guess each record, I feel like I’m always looking for something that’s forward thinking, but at the same time, always on that same trajectory. There are some things that you have always loved, but with each album you want to link something new to the chain of what you have been doing to expand your horizons. Particularly when it’s your voice and it’s who you are, it’s really interesting to change the music around that, rather than always keeping it the same style.”
Blasko will soon be taking her music around Australia on The Soloist Tour, being the first time for fans to see Blasko in her most intimate form – completely by her lonesome without the addition of a backing band.
“I am terrified. I feel really excited but I am very nervous. I’m already dreaming about it. I often have pre-tour nightmares where you have a dream where you can’t get to the show,” she says, “So I have these dreams about me just not being able to get to my destination or that I’m two hours late and I can’t find anything.”
“I feel it’s going to be a really big challenge for me doing this tour. That’s mainly why I wanted to do it – I wanted to have this challenge, and I have wanted to do it for a while so I figured there is no better time than now!”
When & Where: Theatre Royal, Castlemaine – May 25, GPAC, Geelong – May 26, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne – June 15
Written by Alex Callan