Sarah Darling takes listeners on a journey through cinematic songs about stars, dreams, and romance on her new album, Dream Country. The singer-songwriter, who has released several albums garnering 1/2 million downloads worldwide and two number one videos on CMT and GAC, is gearing up for the project's release on February 10th and graciously took the time to talk about the album, what's ahead and more.
The last song you released was “Little Umbrellas” back in 2013. What have you been doing since?
“Little Umbrellas” was the last track I put out to the world, but over the past few years, I have been diving into a brand new record which I am so excited about. The new album is called Dream Country and it comes out February 10th. This record is something I put my heart and soul into and I hope people identity with it. I had the chance to make it independently from start to finish with every decision being mine, so this is a very personal project that I’m really excited to share with the world. It’s very dreamy, romantic, and sweet and talks a lot about the stars.
The record was funded via a Pledge campaign. Was it the first time you did something like that?
This was the first time I ever made an album with the fans and it was an incredible experience. I was so much more involved in the process and felt so personably attached to it. My fans, friends, and family paid money to help me make my dream record which was really amazing. The people who Pledged are getting the music, but I feel that they changed my life by allowing me to make this record. This project means so much to me and it’s all because of them taking the time to do something they didn’t have to do. They’re wonderful.
Those campaigns really do speak to the support of the fans. What is the significance of the album title?
The Dream Country title came in the studio. My friend Zak, who co-wrote a song with me, said the songs sound like me and are country, but they have other elements as well…and then Dream Country just popped out of my mouth. It’s my version of what country music is to me and the title really does capture the whole album. Once people hear it, they will totally understand what I mean.
What can you tell us about the album?
There are ten songs. Eight I co-wrote and two, “Stargazer” a song my friend wrote that I couldn’t pass up, and “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths,” are covers. I heard that song a few years ago, and thought it was such a great song that any of my friends in the business could relate to. So, I covered that reworking it completely adding strings. The woman who produced the album is a cellist and I felt that strings captured the musical connection that I wanted, as a result there are some beautiful sounds on that track, but also on the EP which has cello, violin and fiddle.
You recently released a snippet of your first single from the project, “Halley’s Comet,” which really has that ethereal feel. Is that a good representation of the album?
Yes, that’s a perfect example of what to expect from the album. “Halley’s Comet” is the most personal song on the album. There was a time when I was signed to a label – which was wonderful – but it was time to do something else. I wanted to be able to sing and write about the things I wanted to and sometimes you don’t always get those freedoms when you’re with a label. To me, music is about being able to express yourself and connect with your fans and for me to make this album my own way was a brave thing. “Halley’s Comet” takes you back through the story of me being a kid and first time I stepped on stage and how my life changed. It’s a sweet song about believing in yourself and believing that you’re going to have your time.
You have played the Grand Old Opry over 80 times. Are there plans to play there again or tour in the upcoming year?
I am going to play the Grand Old Opry at the Ryman on January 27th, the day “Halley’s Comet” releases.
I plan to tour the US and the UK next year, which will be a lot of fun. I’ll also have some amazing music videos, like “Halley’s Comet,” popping up. That video took several months to make and almost has an Americanized animated look to it; it’s really cute and fun.
More than anything it feels good to release new music. The album is something I love so much and I hope the fans will love it too.
Finally, as the year winds down, is there one album that you would consider your favorite of 2016?
I probably am going to have to say Chris Stapleton’s Traveler and Cam’s Untamed. Both of those are excellent.
For more information visit her official website
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Pre-order Dream Country here