Sarah Blacker is Fearless On In Waves

Article Contributed by Mixtape Media | Published on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

On her third and most evolved full-length release, In Waves, singer and songstress, Sarah Blacker is fearless.  Pushing herself as far out of her comfort zone as possible and enlisting a “guitarmy” of players, on May 19th, Blacker will release her most personal and ambitious recording to date. This album will be available worldwide through her new distribution agreement with The ILS Group via Caroline Music and The Universal Music Group.

Produced by Sean McLaughlin of 37’ Productions (Queensryche, Matchbox Twenty, Dirty Vegas) and Blacker who exclaims, “[In Waves] is far more fearless than anything I've done before. I decided to do all of the things I've always wanted to, and together, Sean and I made no compromises. We employed our favorite musicians, and set out to create something quite current, and with wider appeal that could really stand up and say, hey, this is me, take it or leave it.”

In Waves is quite a departure from Blacker’s previous releases. “I feel a stronger sense of self, and freedom in songwriting. I am unafraid to come right out and say things I've always wanted to, and to share the new life lessons I've acquired between the last album and this one. I really wanted to show a sense of progress and evolution, so that was our main goal. I think personal evolution shouldn't just be for seasons, I think musicians ought to take risks and leaps and prove to themselves that it's possible to fulfill their dreams as an artist and as a person through songwriting and exploring themselves in all avenues artistically.”

The album kicks off with the driving, “Way Like Water,” “a friend told me to get angry, and I was, so I channeled it for this song. I've been told it could've been a '80s Rush song, or a Led Zeppelin tune. That's pretty cool to me,” says Blacker. Next up is the title track, an emotionally resonate tune about the only constant in life: change. “Exhale” is Blacker at her rootsy-est and describes it as a “love song for a good friend. I feel it is one part Gillian Welch and one part Neko Case.”

Rounding out the album are, “Break Out” a rollicking ode to artists often beholden to the whims of the muse, the aching waltz of “Hotel Halls,” a reflection on the loneliness of life on the road and “Oh My God,” of which “part of the chorus was written in a Music Therapy group I was facilitating. I had a really challenging year due to a near fatal car accident, and various other health issues. Once I made it through them, I felt refreshed, renewed, and able to sleep the night again. Definitely grateful to be alive, and for those who helped,” explains Blacker.

For In WavesSarah Blacker enlisted a “guitarmy” of players. Including four guitarists (of which Blacker was one) and two drummers -- Elliot Jacobson (Ingrid Michaelson) and Mike Levesque (Seven Mary Three, Juliana Hatfield).  Writer Jonah Sacks composed string arrangements for two of the songs. Blacker played mainly all electric guitars -- save for acoustic on three tracks, some ukulele and her first foray into playing piano on one of her own recordings.

Music is embedded in every part of Sarah Blacker’s life. When’s she’s not recording and touring, she is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and a trained board-certified music therapist and has been practicing for close to a decade. Her specialties include adults struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, substance-abuse, dissociative disorders and other psychotic disorders, and works at a renowned Boston-area hospital, as well as with adolescents with Asperger's in a school on the same campus. She practices creative music therapy, founded by Nordoff Robbins, which is based on the concept that everybody has an inner child that can be reached through improvising in structured ways with clinical intention.

This spring and summer, Sarah Blacker will tour nationally in support of In Waves.

Don’t Miss Sarah Blacker Live!

April 24th Plymouth, MA The Spire Center * 

May 2nd Portsmouth, NH The Press Room * 

May 8th Saratoga Springs, NY Caffe Lena

May 15th Somerville, MA Davis Square Theatre * 

May 22nd Burlington, VT The Skinny Pancake * 

May 23rd Brandon, VT Brandon Music * 

May 28th Stewardstown, PA Pleasant Valley Golf Club * 

May 29th Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh Winery * 

May 30th Chelsea, MI Chelsea Ale House * 

June 4th Chelsea, MI Sights & Sounds

June 6th Rock Island, IL Daytrotter Taping

June 6th Chicago, IL The Uncommon Ground on Devon *

June 8th Lawrence, KS Henry’s Upstairs *

June 11th Denver, CO The Walnut Room w/ Kiernan McMullen

June 21st San Francisco, CA Hotel Utah *

June 23rd Los Angeles, CA Room 5 Lounge *

June 28th Austin, TX Strange Brew *

July 2nd Atlanta, GA Smith’s Olde Bar *

July 17th Northampton, MA Northampton Summer Music Series ^

Julu 18th Somerville, MA The Burren +

August 5th Biddleford, ME Biddleford’s Music in The Park

August 8th Plymouth, MA Barn Show (full band)

* Denotes Album Release Show

^ Denotes Show With Jamie Kent

+ Denotes Show In the Round with Jamie Kent and Dave Drouin