Tag: Keep Shelly In Athens (Page 1 of 3)

Introducing POLYCHROME

POLYCHROME describe themselves as “Neon Segawave”, probably an apt term of reference given their flirtations with synthwave and dreampop.

Modern glitch effects like PURITY RING with the girly synthpop resonance of Miami’s PRIEST and the chillwave air of the Sarah P. era of KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS permeate through the sounds of POLYCHROME, as exemplified by ‘The Call’.

However, the London-based independent duo themselves name the usual suspects of M83, COCTEAU TWINS and CHROMATICS as well as the polarising sub-genre of shoegaze as influences. Fronted by the angelic presence of Victoria Harrison, she is ably partnered by Oliver Price and both contribute vocals as well as production.

“We love it Lo-Fi, old drum machines, vintage microphones and Sega Mega drives!” the duo say, affirming their more rustic approach to electronic pop. Much of the POLYCHROME’s self-titled debut album released in 2018 was written in isolation around the serene surroundings of Grianain Eco Lodge near Fort William and it shows.

The ‘Drive’ influenced ‘Synesthesia’ reflects the union of the senses as suggested by its title, with its synthetic and vocal layers providing an electro-organic wash, accompanied by a rainswept video shot through glass for that suitably hazy effect.

The album closer ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’ provides an airy twist on the ‘Stranger Things’ theme with a slower variation on its iconic pulsing arpeggio, it could be considered POLYCHROME’s mission statement as to their next artistic intent as they move further into combining synthwave with dreampop.

Concluding their debut album campaign with a ‘Final Kiss’ and a manipulated voice hook, the song recalls the sedate synthpop of Canadian duo ELECTRIC YOUTH with chiming guitars and electronic drums complimenting the backdrop.

It will be interesting to see where POLYCHROME head next with many possible paths on the crossroads and while there is still perhaps some focussing to do dynamically, the musical potential is there.


‘Polychrome’ is available as a download album from https://soundofpolychrome.bandcamp.com/

http://soundofpolychrome.com/

https://www.facebook.com/soundofpolychrome/

https://twitter.com/soundofpolychro

https://www.instagram.com/polychromesounds/

https://soundcloud.com/soundofpolychrome


Text by Chi Ming Lai
23rd April 2019

SARAH P. Maenads

There’s a group of female artists out there, who are doing it for the girls and SARAH P. is certainly one of them.

Sarah Anna Psalti-Helbig started her love affair with music, while studying drama, by fronting the critically acclaimed Greek act KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS for four years.

Looking for more opportunities, she moved to Berlin where her solo career took off with a bang around the release of a rather mature and deep LP ‘Who Am I’.

This winter sees her returning Greek goddess style with a five song EP borrowing its name from Greek mythology. ‘Maenads’ are female followers of Dionysus, the god of theatre, fertility and wine and SARAH P. feels united with her Hellenic heritage and describes the release as a true representation of herself.

“This record is the link between my previous work and what’s coming” she said, “Free symbolised my rebirth as an artist, Who Am I helped me discover different music paths and Maenads is representing 100% me, both musically and as an individual. I’m not big on classifying my music in genres, because I believe that this process is taking away from the magic of listening. I think that Maenads is way more accessible than my previous work, yet mysterious and uncommon.”

Indeed the opening ‘Sappho’s Leap’ borrows from traditional Greek poetry, and acts as a prelude to breathy ‘Mneme’, with whispered words and sparse guitar, seeing SARAH P. creating an amalgamation between KATE BUSH and BJÖRK vocally, while the musicality of this track hovers between dream pop and alternative, all wrapped in an unlaboured and carefree lullaby; a lullaby where the voice vixen channels her inner Robert Smith.

The need to rely on oneself is expressed in the foxy ‘Lotus Eaters’, which tunefully continues the echoes of THE CURE meeting THE PIXIES; the voice is edgy and sweet with an undertone of seduction. We mustn’t sleep, we must open our minds and make the change.

“We can’t undo our history, but we can learn from it and shape our future” is the message relayed in ‘Cybele’s Dream’, which is a serious tale of SARAH P.’s own heritage told by her ancestors.

The artist calls for a greater consideration of the burning issue of refugees over an easy listening piece, reminiscent of TEARS FOR FEARS.

The closing eponymous track changes the tempo and direction, appearing to be more of a dance tune, celebrating the beauty and fun of Athens, MARNIE style.

More accessible than her previous provisions? Perhaps. Different? Hell, yes! One thing is for certain; SARAH P. is ever evolving and is on the right track, creating genre of her own and refusing to be categorised and labelled. The creation of music is a fluid process and no boundaries are required.


‘Maenads’ is released by EraseRestart Records via the usual digital outlets at http://smarturl.it/sarahpmaenads

http://sarahpofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sarahpofficial/

https://twitter.com/sarahpofficial

https://www.instagram.com/sarahpofficial/

https://www.amour-records.com/sarah-p

https://open.spotify.com/album/5iaaDv6Oydcr40h7GKPzrQ


Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
Photos by George Geranios
14th December 2018

THE ELECTRICITY CLUB… The Next Generation?

Sitting on the sofa with my now thirteen year old daughter, who over the years has acquired a rather sarcastic sense of humour (who on Earth does she get that from?!) and pondering how to approach this task of reviewing ‘The Electricity Club’ compilation, makes us both burst out with hearty laughter.

After all, she wants to rise to the occasion properly, and review things “just like Mummy does”, or maybe not, as “Mummy always says it as it is!”

Children have the innate ability to always tell the truth; my daughter, however, has an uncontrollable need to please people, so this could really go either way. She will either be pulling her disgusted face, saying “what a load of rubbish!”, or candidly praise, without certainty.

My own adventure with music dates back many years indeed. I was brought up within, what they used to call in communist Poland, “an intelligence family”, meaning both my parents were white collar workers, rather than working class.

My father, a respectable judge, had loved his music greatly and was an avid guitar player himself, while my mum, a teacher, enjoyed listening to pretty much anything within the popular genre (usually via her radio, which, to this day, is always on).

Recalling the baby book entry, which my mum recorded when I was at the tender age of five, saying “Monika loves listening and dancing to records, she could spend all day doing so”, makes me try and remember the old record player and hundreds of vinyl albums which my parents owned.

All this said, I hold my older by ten years brother solely responsible for my eventual music choices. As I was growing up, I just had to endure what he was listening to (at great volume, may I add!).

As legal copies of western music were incredibly hard (or, simply, impossible) to get, his room was full of pirate cassette tapes of everything from THE HUMAN LEAGUE to MICHAEL JACKSON and anything and everything in between.

He would take great pride in inviting me into his musical cave and fed me with DEPECHE MODE, ERASURE, ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA and OMD.

And all this worked… during his absence, I’d sneak in and put my favourites on, which would primarily include the works of DEPECHE MODE, with the vinyl of ‘Black Celebration’ and maxi-single vinyl of ‘Stripped’ being the firm first choices. And that’s how I acquired the electronic music bug. From then on, not much else mattered but coming home from school and playing the entire back catalogue of the Basildon boys, dotted with the works of YAZOO and ERASURE.

My Allie has had little choice, since her musical adventure dates back to being in my womb. At the age of three she would sing ERASURE’s ‘You Surround Me’ on top of her little baby voice, and her sweet childish vocal was sampled and recorded by a well-known UK electronic duo.

Her first gig was at the age of five, and she went to see ERASURE at six and DEPECHE MODE twice at the grown-up age of seven, keenly taking part in the experience.

Although since she’s found love for KATIE PERRY, ARIANA GRANDE and TAYLOR SWIFT, and electronic music hasn’t been on her radar much lately, she absolutely loved ASHBURY HEIGHTS’ ‘The Looking Glass Society’. She also has a lot of vintage DEPECHE MODE on her Spotify playlist, interestingly enough none of it past ‘Songs Of Faith & Devotion’, and plays it at least twice a week.

Having heard that, I would include her opinion in the tongue-in-cheek review of The Electricity Club compilation, she keenly decided to be a serious contributor, and so it goes…

MAISON VAGUE Synthpop’s Alive

Allie: I don’t like it but I like it…

Mon: Bit GARY NUMAN this is! But a tad laboured and rough and ready.

Allie: I like the synth sounds, the voice sounds a bit weird.

KID KASIO Full Moon Blue

Mon: Ah, my favourite of Nathan’s! Love it, love it, love it!

Allie: I like the sounds, the first bit sounds a bit like DEPECHE MODE!

Mon: Yeah, a tribute to ‘Two Minute Warning’!

Allie: That’s it! I like it a lot. I like his voice.

ELECTRONIC CIRCUS Roundabout

Allie: Oh my God! Rubbish!

Mon: Why? *cannot contain the laughter*

Allie: It’s just rubbish!

Mon: Erm, the synth is good, not sure about the vocal…

DAYBEHAVIOR It’ s A Game – Marsheaux remix

Mon: I like this, analog synth! Lovely…

Allie: I like it, like the vocal, but it’s not something I’d listen to if I had a choice.

Mon: Oh, I would. Very good song and well produced by MARSHEAUX.

MARNIE The Hunter

Allie: Reminds me of something but I don’t know what. I like it, love the vocal.

Mon: I hear a bit of LADYTRON, BJÖRK and MARSHEAUX. It’s fresh and enticing.

Allie: Yes, LADYTRON! That’s it!

NIGHT CLUB Cruel Devotion

Allie: Ohhhh, I like that!

Mon: You’ve met them last year Allie! Very good!

Allie: Oh yes, I do like this! I like the background sound and the vocals. I’d play that in my room… She doesn’t sound American! Is she American?

Mon: Yes! *laughs*

Allie: I’d make music like that!

ELEVEN ELEVEN Through The Veil

Mon: I like the beginning, bit of KYLIE there.

Allie: I don’t know who that is! I like the vocals!

Mon: I like the sound! (Note to self: “must educate Allie on KYLIE”).

QUEEN OF HEARTS United

Mon: Oh I’m liking this, fat synth and decent voice…

Allie: I like it, both synth and the vocal.

KATY PERRY Hot N Cold – Marsheaux remix

Allie: It’s KATY PERRY! I like this! I like this remix, it’s different from the original! *singing out loud*

Mon: I never liked the original and this doesn’t do it for me either.

Allie: What?! I love it! But her voice is a bit screechy, like on the normal version!

ERASURE Be The One – Paul Humphreys remix

Allie: Sounds like ERASURE…

Mon: It is!

Allie: Ah, I knew it! Is it a remix?

Mon: Yep.

Allie: I love ERASURE, this is lovely.

Mon: Totally agree.

KID MOXIE The Bailor

Allie: I don’t like her vocals.

Mon: I do, it’s a good song.

Allie: I like the music, the melody is nice.

Mon: It’s a grown up song, very atmospheric and cinematic. Great use of synth. My kind of electronica.

KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS Oostende

Allie: I like it! The vocals are great. I’d listen to it in the car.

Mon: Yes, it’s good, both vocally and musically.

FOTONOVELA featuring JAMES NEW My Sorrow

Allie: I’ve heard it before.

Mon: Really? I haven’t! You must be thinking of something else.

Allie: It’s ok, reminds me of something you’ve played before.

GIRL ONE & THE GREASE GUNS Jessica

Allie: I don’t like it, vocals aren’t great, don’t like the music.

Mon: It’s not my cup of tea either, but I’m sure it’ll appeal to few people.

AUTOMATIC WRITING Continuous

Mon: Interesting start! It’s different, I shouldn’t like it but I do.

Allie: It’s ok, again, it reminds me of something.

METROLAND Thalys – London edit

Mon: Oh I like that. Simple arrangement and that’s all you need. Not sure about the voice sample though.

Allie: It’s very robotic, like science fiction. It’s like something from another planet. It’s KRAFTWERK!

RODNEY CROMWELL Black Dog

Allie: Yeah! That’s ok! *does a little dance*

Mon: Hmmm, not sure. It’s not unpleasant.

SIN COS TAN Trust

Allie: Don’t know, not sure about that one.

Mon: It’s ok.

Allie: Bored now!

POLLY SCATTERGOOD Other Too Endless – Vince Clarke remix

Mon: Good synth on this one. Liking this a lot. Competent vocals and arrangement, a real stand out.

Allie: Not my cup of tea.

TENEK What Do You Want?

Allie: Is that MESH? Sounds like it!

Mon: No, it’s not, it’s TENEK. It’s a good song.

Allie: Yes, I really like it. I like the instruments.

ANALOG ANGEL We Won’t Walk Away

Allie: It’s fast. Not my kind of thing.

Mon: It’s very well written. It needs more oomph! Very OMD.

ARTHUR & MARTHA Autovia

Allie: It’s not in tune… I don’t know, I don’t like it.

Mon: It’s different, not me either…

MARSHEAUX Suffer The Children

Mon: A cover. Good.

Allie: It is good, bouncy.

SECTION 25 My Outrage

Mon: Oh dear, messy! Too candied for me, bit all over the place.

Allie: Yes, I don’t think it’s good. I can’t describe it but it’s not something I’d listen to.

047 featuring LISA PEDERSEN Everything’s Fine

Allie: Clubby! Like it. Yes, I do! *bounces away*

Mon: Good, isn’t it? I like the club feel to it. A good dance song.

TAXX Is It Love?

Mon: Oh yes, good stuff! Progressive. Decent vocal too.

Allie: It’s ok, but I wouldn’t listen to it in the car. At a disco, maybe…

LIEBE I Believe In You

Allie: You know the ding-ding sounds? They remind me of PET SHOP BOYS!

Mon: “Ding-ding sounds!” To me the vocal technique resembles NEW ORDER. It’s good.

QUIETER THAN SPIDERS Shanghai Metro

Mon: It’s ok.

Allie: Too poppy, way too poppy. Chow mein? *laughs*

iEUROPEAN feat WOLFGANG FLÜR Activity Of Sound

Mon: That’s it! The synth is all there. Semi-modular synth? Very tidy!

Allie: I do actually like it! It’s club but different.

TWINS NATALIA Destiny

Mon: Not me vocally but decent synth I suppose.

Allie: I like the vocals! I don’t know, all confused now, too many songs!

Mon: No, that’s awful.

MESH Tuesday

Mon: YAZOO cover Allie!

Allie: I knew that I knew it! Is that MESH?!

Mon: Yes!

Allie: Thought so. I like anything MESH!

Mon: Now, there’s a surprise!

Allie: You know me!

MIRRORS Between Four Walls

Allie: Like this one, nice music.

Mon: Bit laboured… it’s not bad though.

OMD Time Burns – Fotonovela rework

Allie: Very robotic.

Mon: Not me!

VILE ELECTRODES Deep Red

Allie: I like the vocals, sounds a bit like Sarah Blackwood!

Mon: It’s Jane actually!

Allie: Ahhhh! Doh! I like that a lot. It’s slow! *laughs*

Mon: It is good, but no surprise there.

Allie: Is that the last song?!

Mon: Yes…

Allie: Thank god, I’m tired now!

She will sleep well! I have to say, she did surprise me with some songs and disappointed with others but that just proves to me, that tastes do indeed vary, and even if I’m vehemently against something, others will find it enticing.

‘The Electricity Club’ compilation is a marvellous collection of tunes, and that’s a given. There’s something for everyone here and what a cross-section of all electronica. Still, I come to conclusion that thirteen year olds are probably not mature enough to fully appreciate certain synth music…

Will she follow in my steps? Not for a while… if ever! The one thing we certainly have in common: WE SAY IT AS IT IS!


‘The Electricity Club’ is released on 3rd December 2018 by Amour Records / Minos EMI / Universal Music in collaboration with Undo Records as a 34 track 2CD set in a deluxe 6 panel digipak with track-by-track commentary and ‘O’ card; the compilation can be pre-ordered from the following retailers:

Europe http://www.poponaut.de/various-artists-electricity-club-p-18056.html

North America https://stormingthebase.bandcamp.com/merch/various-the-electricity-club-2cd

Please note this product is NOT on sale through The Electricity Club website and only via retailers

A Spotify sampler of the compilation can be listened to at: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7xwTYTeH6b5vgCqjZudfGE

http://www.amour-records.com

https://www.facebook.com/amour.records/

https://twitter.com/Amour_Records

https://www.instagram.com/amour_records/

https://www.minosemi.gr/

https://www.facebook.com/MinosEmi/


Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
1st December 2018

THE ELECTRICITY CLUB 2CD Compilation

Amour Records / Minos EMI / Universal Music in collaboration with Undo Records are to release a 2CD compilation compiled by The Electricity Club.

Capturing its ethos to feature the best in new and classic electronic pop music, this compilation is the culmination of a period which has seen the resurgence of the genre. Over the years, The Electricity Club appears to have reflected the interests of people who love the Synth Britannia era and have a desire to hear new music seeded from that ilk.

Little did The Electricity Club know when it launched on 15th March 2010, it would go on to interview many of the key players in Synth Britannia, get granted an audience with two former members of KRAFTWERK and be influential in helping some of the best new synthesizer talents gain a profile within a reinvigorated scene. So it is highly apt that WOLFGANG FLÜR should make an appearance on this collection.

The Electricity Club is pleased to showcase its ethos in the form of this tangible audio artefact. Among the impressive cast, there are prime movers from the classic era like PAUL HUMPHREYS and VINCE CLARKE. Without the influence of the bands they respectively co-founded, OMD and DEPECHE MODE, electronic pop as The Electricity Club likes it would not exist.

Meanwhile the next generation are represented by acts such as KID MOXIE, NIGHT CLUB, RODNEY CROMWELL and VILE ELECTRODES. Incidentally, the latter were invited to support OMD on their 2013 German tour following ANDY McCLUSKEY’s discovery of the duo while perusing The Electricity Club’s virtual pages. The bloodline from ‘Radio-Activity’ to ‘Romance Of The Telescope’ and then to ‘Deep Red’ is easily traceable and deeply omnipresent.

The Electricity Club has always relished its diverse taste credentials. It doesn’t do retro or contemporary, just good music. No other compendium could dare to include the spiky post-punk of GIRL ONE & THE GREASE GUNS and the rousing electro-rock of MESH alongside pop princesses such as QUEEN OF HEARTS or KATY PERRY. Be it Glasgow’s ANALOG ANGEL and MARNIE, Manchester veterans SECTION 25 or Essex boys TENEK, it all fits into The Electricity Club’s avant pop playground.

With international representation also from Gothenburg’s DAYBEHAVIOR and 047, Shanghai synthpoppers QUIETER THAN SPIDERS, Texan dance duo ELEVEN: ELEVEN, Belgium’s own passengers METROLAND and the self-explanatory KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS, the tracks gathered capture a special moment in time where innovative musical aspirations and good tunes have again manifested themselves in the same context.

The collection features a number of covers including MESH’s take on YAZOO’s ‘Tuesday’ and MARSHEAUX’s reinterpretation of TEARS FOR FEARS’ first single ‘Suffer The Children’. In addition, tracks such as MARSHEAUX’s stomping remix of KATY PERRY’s ‘Hot ‘N’ Cold’ and MIRRORS’ ‘Between Four Walls’ make their premiere in CD format.

The tracklisting is:

CD1

01 MAISON VAGUE Synthpop’s Alive
02 KID KASIO Full Moon Blue
03 ELECTRONIC CIRCUS Roundabout
04 DAYBEHAVIOR It’s A Game (Marsheaux remix)
05 MARNIE The Hunter
06 ELEVEN:ELEVEN Through The Veil
07 NIGHT CLUB Cruel Devotion
08 QUEEN OF HEARTS United
09 KATY PERRY Hot ‘N’ Cold (Marsheaux remix)
10 ERASURE Be The One (Paul Humphreys remix)
11 KID MOXIE The Bailor
12 KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS Oostende
13 FOTONOVELA featuring JAMES NEW Our Sorrow (Original mix)
14 GIRL ONE & THE GREASE GUNS Jessica 6
15 AUTOMATIC WRITING Continuous
16 METROLAND Thalys (London Edit)
17 RODNEY CROMWELL Black Dog

CD2

01 SIN COS TAN Trust
02 POLLY SCATTERGOOD Other Too Endless (Vince Clarke remix)
03 TENEK What Do You Want? (Alternate TEC version)
04 ANALOG ANGEL We Won’t Walk Away
05 ARTHUR & MARTHA Autovia
06 MARSHEAUX Suffer The Children
07 SECTION 25 My Outrage
08 047 featuring LISA PEDERSEN Everything’s Fine
09 TAXX Is It Love?
10 LIEBE I Believe In You
11 QUIETER THAN SPIDERS Shanghai Metro
12 iEUROPEAN featuring WOLFGANG FLÜR Activity Of Sound
13 TWINS NATALIA Destiny
14 MESH Tuesday
15 MIRRORS Between Four Walls
16 OMD Time Burns (Fotonovela rework)
17 VILE ELECTRODES Deep Red


‘The Electricity Club’ is released by Amour Records / Minos EMI / Universal Music in collaboration with Undo Records as a 34 track 2CD set in a deluxe 6 panel digipak with track-by-track commentary and ‘O’ card; the compilation be purchased from the following retailers:

Europe http://www.poponaut.de/various-artists-electricity-club-p-18056.html

North America https://stormingthebase.bandcamp.com/merch/various-the-electricity-club-2cd

Please note this product is NOT on sale through The Electricity Club website and only via retailers

http://www.amour-records.com

https://www.facebook.com/amour.records/

https://twitter.com/Amour_Records

https://www.instagram.com/amour_records/

https://www.minosemi.gr/

https://www.facebook.com/MinosEmi/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
12th November 2018, updated 16th January 2020

A Short Conversation with SARAH P.

It’s been a while since Sarah Anna Psalti-Helbig worked in Greece on her project KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS with RΠЯ.

Seemingly, even the magnificent ‘Oostende’, taken from their debut ‘At Home’ couldn’t keep Sarah in Athens, seeing the songstress relocating to Berlin for a much needed new challenge and the change of scenery.

Following her directness on ‘Free’, SARAH P. has now unveiled her first proper long player ‘Who Am I’, “a pop record that is different, an ode to the humanly deep need of security and love”.

The Electricity Club is chatting to the lady herself, about the past, present and future for SARAH P.

Congratulations on ‘Who Am I’; it’s a very grown-up record…

Thank you so much! During the time working on the record, I want to believe that I matured a lot, so it makes me happy hearing that my album sounds like that, too.

‘Free’ saw a very direct approach, depicting times when you found yourself at the crossroads, would you describe ‘Who Am I’ as a description of a more settled state of affairs?

Absolutely. ‘Free’ came out of a dark place. It’s about my reckless years where I took many risks and didn’t always emerge as the winner. On ‘Who Am I’, I’m way more considerate – I’m saying what I want to say but in a calmer manner.

Many things changed for me during the time between the two records – my lifestyle changed, I got married and to be honest, I had quite a change of heart about several things (people, situations, beliefs) that affected me, not only as a person but also as a creator.

‘Finding Sigi’ was an exciting step into your acting career. With the new album out, are you just concentrating on music, or is there any more talk about pursuing the movies?

For the moment, I’m concentrating on music, however, if an appealing proposal comes in, I’ll gladly take it on. There are moments where I miss acting so much!

With EraseRestart you can dictate your own rules. But surely things are harder without the support of an established label?

Of course. I mean, we’re mainly two people – my husband and I are the core duo. There’s a lot of juggling going on. But the thing is that, now that I know how it is to be in charge and have the full creative control over my work.

Even if I got offered the most amazing record deal (and I’m talking about a direct signing), I would find it hard to go back to being submissive to other people’s wishes and exceptions from my music and image.

I have a very specific vision of how I want things to play and I only see committed partners in the picture. I’ve been active in music as a professional for the past seven years and this is the most autonomous I’ve ever been. It comes with a lot of work, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

More and more women excel in writing, performing and producing their own music, like GRIMES I AM SNOW ANGEL, GAZELLE TWIN and FIFI RONG to mention a few, who have been reaping successes recently. With the latest album, you’re proving that point further…

Thank you. I’m all down for that girl power. I remember the first time that I sat down to write something on my computer – I was terrified. At the time, I was told that I shouldn’t even try – that I wasn’t able to make my own music. It was really hard to break from those inferiority complexes that you develop as a young woman in the music industry.

Imagine that up to today, whenever we pop up somewhere with my husband, people tend to assume that he’s the mastermind behind my project. I find it utterly sad that we’re still not used to women being equal to men when it comes to creation, capability, and opinion.

But there are so many things going wrong in this world that gender inequality seems like another drop in the bucket.

Elena Alice Fossi aka SPECTRA PARIS has returned with a fantastic album while MARSHEAUX still maintain a loyal following; do you follow and take inspiration from other successful ladies in the synth genre?

Sure I do. I think that women have a completely different style and approach when writing and although, as a young listener, I grew up influenced mostly by male artists, I find myself to be way more drawn to female acts nowadays.

I love love MARSHEAUX and how committed they are to their style – I’m always fascinated by artists who are consistent and never get to disappoint. MARSHEAUX are like a dream! Other inspiring ladies that I love are IAMAMIWHOAMI / IONNALEE, AUSTRA and ZOLA JESUS.

Your output on ‘Who Am I’ is very eclectic, do you set out to make things sound one of a kind?

Not at all. Whenever I sit down to write a song, I start off with a blank canvas and in most cases, I have no clue what I want to write about – I just follow my instincts. I just want to put out music that’s thought-provoking – that’s all I care about.

The ‘Who Am I’ track was a key statement for you?

All ten songs hide key statements in them. The whole album needs time to be understood – not because it’s complex, but because it’s very different from what’s on the radio nowadays. It’s raw! My vision was that the album becomes some sort of treasure hunt, with the treasure being the meanings of the songs. And there can be so many interpretations of them, so there’s a unique treasure for each and every listener.

To go back to your question, ‘Who Am I’ is indeed the heart of the record and means a lot to me both musically, but also lyrically. An early version of it was one of the first tracks I’ve ever written on my computer. In that sense, and connecting to what I mentioned earlier about the prejudice that many have – that women can’t write or aren’t good enough in producing, this song is celebrating the person I am today, the person that I’ve become.

On the other hand, lyrically, the theme I’m approaching is way more sombre.

Although it’s manifested in a very understated way that’s open to many reads, ‘Who Am I’ is inspired by the images of refugee camps and tells the story of a young man, who’s waking up in a bed, not remembering a thing about himself and / or how he got there.

It’s pure imagination and I can’t even understand how it is to be violently uprooted from your native land. Writing and singing that song is my way to salute those people who are going through those incredibly hard times.

What was the genesis of ‘LoveStory’ as a song?

Coincidentally, ‘LoveStory’ was also one of the first tracks I ever wrote, but it took me a lot of time to write meaningful lyrics to it. As a true millennial, I struggled for many years to find a love that’s pure and not one-sided. I suffered multiple heartbreaks – they’re countless, really, and I was so defeated that when real love came to me, I was incapable of even realizing it. For a long time, I was trying to destroy it, before it destroyed me. That being said, my partner (who would later become my husband) was extremely patient with me. He was able to tear down my defence walls and “fix my wounds” as I sing.

I understand that selfless love has become very difficult to find, but if my husband and I managed to meet and fall in love in a big city like Berlin, I would say that everything is possible. ‘LoveStory’ is inspired by my personal history, but also by my friends and their friends who have had their hearts broken into pieces by their love interests. It’s also a wish – a lucky spell, if you please, for them to be paired up sometime soon if that’s what they want.

So how did the video for ‘Summer Prince’ spring out of nowhere? Do the visuals ever come into your head during the writing?

’Summer Prince’ is based on memories I have from vacations with my parents and dreams I had as a teenager. I knew that, if we were to film a video for it, the visuals had to be summery and playful. While in Athens, we got the chance to escape for a couple of hours and go to the sea. Very spontaneous as we are, we decided to film this summery adventure, we cut it together and released it the very next day. It’s nothing grandiose – it’s exactly how it should have been. ‘Summer Prince’ is a delayed eulogy to my long-gone innocence and anything too stylized or touched-up would have felt terribly wrong.

As far as your writing technique goes, do you prefer to work with hardware versions of synths or like many today, you don’t shy away from the soft equivalents?

I’m a softy – at least, I became one, due to the circumstances. It was only until late last year that we got to build my home studio. Up to that point, I did everything on my laptop. But hey, I bought some new things, brought my first ever keyboard from Athens and I can already tell that my next album will be way more analogue.

What’s your take on cover versions? Would you ever borrow someone else’s material to make it your own?

I would and maybe I have already, but I can’t say more. I like covers – they’re like being in the attic of an old house and opening the window to let in some fresh air. As long as they’re respectful towards the original pieces, covers are great!

Are we likely to expect ‘Who Am I’ being showcased in live environments any time soon?

That’s become the most difficult question for me to answer during the promotion of ‘Who Am I’. I said before that I won’t play any shows and that’s by choice, opposing a bit the stereotypical idea of putting out a record and performing it live to spread the word.

However, later on, I realised that the way I expressed my views on the matter sounded a bit wacky and kind of negative. So I’d like to clarify that it’s not that I don’t want to play live shows, it’s that I’d like to perform in places and under circumstances that make sense to me and do not cause a headache to me and to my team.

I know that the music lovers and concert goers do not really care about what I’m going to say, but I’ll say it anyway – it’s often that promoters and venues not only dare to just ‘invite’ you to play to places and expect you to cover all of your costs on your own (note: an invitation often means that there’s no fee paid to the artists and the bands), but also do their job very poorly when it comes to promotion, basic professionalism and / or respecting the artists’ riders (and I’m talking about common riders, not the diva-esque, extravagant ones).

I don’t like to generalise – as there are many unprofessional promoters and venue managers, there are many unprofessional artists, too. However, I believe that change can only come when you do something about what’s wrong and that’s the reason why I haven’t confirmed any live shows for the time being. So far, I didn’t receive any offers that met with my terms. And just to be clear, the problem is rather in the morals than in the pockets.

It’s not about getting offered an astronomical amount of money to perform – I’m not Justin Bieber, it’s about not settling down to being treated in a disrespectful manner that’s resembling illegal prostitution in so many ways. I hope this doesn’t sound too insensitive and that nobody gets offended by my words. It’s just how I see things.

What does the future hold for you?

I’m currently producing visuals for the rest of the songs of ‘Who Am I’. I also already started recording and producing my next album. There are several things coming up that I can’t announce just yet, but I will soon enough!


The Electricity Club gives its warmest thanks to SARAH P.

Special thanks also to Robert Helbig at Hellbig Music

‘Who Am I’ is released by EraseRestart Records and available as a download direct from https://sarahpofficial.bandcamp.com/album/who-am-i

http://sarahpofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sarahpofficial/

https://twitter.com/sarahpofficial


Text and Interview by Monika Izabela Trigwell
Photos by Fotini Chora
15th July 2017

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