Sarah is one of our very first far flung artists, the 25-year-old extraordinary new talent delivers sound that is gut-wrenching and swathed in emotion. Chicago born Sarah Walk released her latest single ‘Wake Me Up’ after being signed to One Little Indian last year. The track is a brutally honest tale of addiction that, in Sarah’s words ‘shows the sweetness and temptation of something or someone and also that sense of urgency and panic to get out and escape; to feel trapped by someone’s influence and power over you’.
Her distinct androgynous voice marries the husk of Joni Mitchell to the sweetness of Judie Tzuke. Sarah’s music is about big songs and even bigger melodies, with direct lyrics on the eternal themes of heartbreak and loss. It isn’t often that I celebrate the tampering of my sacred sounds, but, with utterly beguiling creations such as this week’s #CLICsLIVENOISE, I can do nothing but sit back and picture Walking in the Air.
When and why did you start playing?
I started playing piano at a young age. my parents had a baby grand in the house when i was growing up and I would always fiddle around on it and make things up - I was always drawn to it. when I got older it became more of a vessel to write on for me and a way to express myself.
What instruments do you play?
If I'm writing it's mainly the piano but I also play a bit of guitar and drums. It's nice to play the guitar and write sometimes just to switch it up. The drums are just for fun but I'm a huge sucker for them. one day I'd like to play drums in a band.
What was the first tune(s) you learned?
Hmm...I think I've always been writing more than learning other songs. The first record I bought was Third Eye Blind's self titled album with my brother when I was about 5 - we memorised nearly the whole album.
Vinyl, tape, CD, or digital?
If I had the choice it'd definitely be vinyl, but I don't have a record player set up anywhere right now because I'm kind of in between London and the States a lot. So for now it's digital if I'm just looking to listen to something these days for convenience sake.
How do you handle a fuck up on stage?
Depends on if it's obvious or not! I guess I kind of make a call in the moment; sometimes it's good to laugh it off but I usually just keep on playing. I probably notice a lot of details and mistakes that other people don't. There's no point in calling attention to the small stuff.
Who or what is your ultimate influence?
I've been inspired by a wide range of different people. The most recent two that I can think of would be Charles Bukowski and Joni Mitchell - they changed the way I see the world to a degree. Radiohead was also a huge inspiration for me.
Where and when do you wish you’d been around to play at?
There are a lot of times in the past that I romanticise about, particularly those eras and places when there was a strong sense of community in the arts - Greenwich Village in the 50s and 60s, for example. But for the present day, Glastonbury is high up on my list - it would be amazing to play there.
If I gave you an elephant where would you hide it?
I probably wouldn't be able to - I'm no good at keeping secrets. Plus an elephant seems like a pretty big burden.
What is your favourite colour of socks to wear?
I just bought some pastel coloured socks that I'm really digging. Soft greens and pinks are a vibe.
Crunchy or smooth?
Smooth maybe? Depends on my mood.