After a trying year personally and professionally, Sarah Peacock returns with her new album, Dream On. The album, an acoustic collection of ten inspiring songs, is Sarah’s testimony, weaving awakening, strength and purpose that trace her path and detours along the way. In advance of the release, Peacock kindly took the time to talk about her journey, the album and more.
The album is said to be inspired by an encounter with rock bottom. Can you elaborate on that?
First of all, gratitude is the attitude. But last fall I did Kickstarter for a new studio album that I was going to make in Nashville. We ended up raising $29.3K of our goal of $35K in thirty days which was just a huge outpouring of love from the fans, but we ultimately did not make the goal. I appreciate so much that the fans supported me and were behind me, but I was also disappointed. So I went back to the drawing board and unplugged for a little bit to reevaluate what was going on with me and my music, where I was going and whether this was the right thing for me to do.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, so I tried to balance the gratefulness for the support with grieving for being unable to make the record we wanted to make. I told myself to slow down and take a breather and just listen for a minute you know, just be. So I took the holidays off [in 2015]; I lived on a houseboat in Texas and really just wondered if it was worth it anymore. I felt dried up but also missed the road and the connection with the fans. I started a creative recovery board back in January and read a great, inspiring book, The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. I just listened and tried to get in tune with myself and God - looking for something to get me dreaming again because I knew that I could sit around and whine about or maybe give it another shot and see what happens. From that moment I started dreaming again. I knew that I wanted to tour this summer but couldn’t without a new album. And I knew I didn’t want to tour the same way I was touring before, so I bought a bus that we are working on renovating before the tour starts on May 19th. Right after I bought the bus, I came across the disc from the Eddie’s Attic show. Turns out the sound guy recorded the entire evening, so I figured, ‘Alright I’ll give it a listen.’ I didn’t expect to find anything, but what I heard sounded really good and I was inspired to see what I could do to put out a live album based on that.
Dream On is about moving on and trying again and required me to show up for myself and to affirm to myself the worthiness of my dream. Plan A didn’t work out, but if you’re a dreamer you don’t have plan B so I had to take a moment to grieve and heal and then create a new plan and keep on dreaming. Ultimately, I went from being alone, to releasing an album, rebuilding my website, buying a bus, getting new management and booking a full tour from Georgia to Alaska. Everything seems to be falling into place. It goes to show you really have to follow your heart and keep at it. At the end of the day I answered a call I feel good about and am excited about. It’s not what I wanted to make initially, but it is exactly what it is supposed to be and I’m good with that and I think other people are too. I really wanted people to understand the story behind the record and understand why it is not the same project we set out to make.
That’s incredibly inspiring and encouraging. Thank you for sharing the story.
The songs come from Eddie’s Attic and the Bugle Boy. Are they equally pulled from each venue?
of the songs were pulled from Eddie’s Attic except one, “Tornado In A Trailer Park.” During that song at Eddie’s Attic I messed up the lyrics and then I couldn’t use the take, so I found it on the Bugle Boy’s tape and ended up using that performance for that song.
There definitely seem to be a few relationship songs on this record. Can you tell the story behind a few?
“Only Way Out” was from a personal relationship and it’s funny because that phrase came to me from the person I was seeing at the time. They said something like, “Don’t be ridiculous I’m not going to leave you. At this point the only way out if a broken heart.” It was meant to be a promise, you know, like you can trust me, I’m a safe place, but the meaning turned out to be the opposite of what intended.
“Until Goodbye,” I wrote with Kinsey Rose. We were sharing stories about nothing in particular and wrote that song with just the energy in the room. After we wrote it and listened to it, I realized it was super relatable to my life and others. I think goodbye can be a moment of freedom to empower people to make changes and do different things. It can be a moment of clarity mixed with sadness - when you realize you can get the love you deserve and live life in one’s own worthiness.
“Without Me There” I wrote with my friend AJ Masters who passed away last year. I was living in Nashville in a business office on Music Row under AJ. I had only a water fountain and a toilet and I would use AJ’s shower sometimes. One night after I showered, AJ said, “Sarah, you left your panties in the shower.” It was sort of an ice breaker for us and we were like, “let’s write a cheating song.” This is what we came up with.
One special song on the record is your anti-bullying anthem, “The Cool Kids”
“The Cool Kids” is a really special song for me. As an artist, author, and activist I feel like it’s a song that represents who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going. It has a message I hope to carry forward. I was relentlessly picked on and bullied in school and I know what it’s like to feel left out. The scars bullying leaves behind can be really traumatic and dealing with the residual lasts a lifetime. Bullying is everywhere and it’s not something that will ever go away, although we can hope. I’ve wanted to write an anti-bullying song forever but I wanted it to be special and different, with a fresh perspective. I had a conversation with a friend of mine and we talked about some of my insecurities. I mentioned how I was never a cool kid and she looked at me and said, “Sarah, the cool kids don’t exist” and in that moment there was a major shift; an opening of a window to my soul where I just went, ‘Okay, it’s all in how you look at it.’ That was the inspiration for the song and since writing it I have partnered with Free2Luv, a group in Seattle and this year I started my own anti-bullying campaign called the Unstoppable Campaign. The principle behind it is that every voice matters, everyone is unstoppable and deserves to feel like they can do anything they want to do because we all have a gift and a dream to be agents of change in the world. Right now we’re growing and there is a lot if going on behind the scenes work going on so that eventually I can bring a presentation into schools to empower young kids. “The Cook Kids” is the beginning of making a map to a different dimension of my career so I am not just a musician anymore. I want to get involved in the community, spread love and have Dream On come full circle.
Again, that’s a wonderful and inspiring and a very important issue to bring attention to.
Switching gears, you have a Patreon page. Can you explain what that is and how fans can get involved?
Patreon is another layer of the onion. It’s a fan club of sorts, a place where people who want to support my music and be closer to what I’m doing can make pledges and support me on a monthly basis. It doesn’t expire like Kickstarter, and someone can pledge or change or cancel their pledge anytime. All of the money someone donates goes to operating costs like diesel for the bus, merch, touring and things like that. And we always have revolving goals set, so if anybody is touched by the music and wants to do a little bit more they can help me make it possible. I do rewards too, like sending postcards from the road, or cookies or a souvenir box of goodies from all of these places I’ve been.
The tour beings on May 19th, and in addition to traditional venues, you also play house concerts.
On this tour, we are trying to fill the void of a few dates and house concerts are a good way to do that. I do a ton of them and they’re really cool! Basically, anyone can host and it’s like having a really cool listening room experience in your house. It’s great for me as an artist to play for forty to fifty people who are a captive audience and connect on a level that’s different. If anyone is interested in hosting a house concert, they can contact me on my website.
For more information visit her official website
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Google Play: http://bit.ly/1Zzu9TO
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