“Sarah Mary Chadwick’s new album, Roses Always Die, is a beautiful and insightful collection of songs. Her work achieves a poignancy which is distinct as it is rare.” Henry Rollins
“these songs match hesitant beats and solemn synth notes to a contemplation of life beyond distress; the record plays as a meditation on the after-effects of emotional pain, where hours can become days.” – Sydney Morning Herald
“If everyone that buys Florence and the Machine records went out and bought this then the world would be a better but more miserable place. I can see this record appealing to lots of people and 15% of the time I’m not wrong about my hunches so get in on the ground floor if you want to be sad.” – Norman Records
“9 Classic Tracks is an invitation to intimacy, both generous and bracing, Sarah Mary Chadwick doesn’t waiver in her devastating outlook” Mess + Noise.
With her 2015 album 9 Classic Tracks, Sarah presented a collection of timeless wall-of-synth ballads with a casual candor that was as unnerving as it was entertaining.
Roses Always Die sees Sarah expand on the quiet intensity of her previous work, exploring memory, grief and personal analysis in a way that few songwriters are capable of. Her unflinching approach to songwriting allows her to introduce complex, often difficult subject matter into her work in a way that is as vivid as it is understated. An old immobile organ provides the only accompaniment to her voice, giving the album an eerie consistency that perfectly underpins the diverse, open-ended narratives that run through each song.
Unembellished and at times brutally sparse, these songs are presented with a level of conviction that is rare amongst a generation of musicians for whom songwriting is as essential as the torrent of the latest 808 emulator. The songs are whittled down to their surprisingly hooky, heartbreaking, wry, bare-boned essentials. The sentiments are personal and the refrains are huge and ambitious.
Sarah was previously the lead singer and songwriter of cult grunge outfit, Batrider, playing alongside Julia McFarlane (Twerps), and Stephanie Crase (Summer Flake, Fair Maiden).
Roses Always Die is the second album recorded with Geoffrey O’Connor (solo, Crayon Fields). It has a more organic sound than the wall of synths used on 9 Classic Tracks, with most songs comprising of just one voice and live ‘70s Yamaha analogue organ. The organ – a huge, heavy double-tiered beast with built-in percussion beats and pedal bass – couldn’t be moved and was recorded on site in the loungeroom at Sarah’s house in Collingwood, Melbourne.
This album reflects a more concentrated focus on songwriting craft and songs are whittled to surprisingly hooky, heartbreaking, wry, bare-boned essentials. The sentiments are personal and the refrains are huge and ambitious. Sarah’s voice is strong and vulnerable, it croons and croaks and cracks, and emotes lyrics about grief and memory.
‘Roses Always Die’ Tracklist:
1. Makin It Work
2. Yunno What
3. The Fire That Torched My Fear
4. Four Walls
5. Cool It
6. The Man and the Flags
7. Every Year’s the Same
8. Make a Boundary
9. Right Now I’m Running
10. Turn On
9 Classic Tracks sees Sarah Mary Chadwick venture into decidedly lusher territory – her unmistakably raw vocals present this time through a vaseline filter and with an air of reflection indicative of both artistic growth and intimate evolution.
In a new collaboration for Chadwick, 9 Classic Tracks was recorded and produced by Geoffrey O’Connor (The Crayon Fields) and mastered by David Walker.
‘Where do I fit in?’, she inquires in the opening track ‘Ask Walt’, setting the tone for what soon becomes clear is an album of great introspection. But rather than alienating the listener with inward-facing questions, Chadwick’s astute observations on relationships and the utter messiness of love are at once deeply idiosyncratic and universally relatable.
In the thick of the album, the mercurial fifth track ‘Same Old Fires‘ moves from a hymn-like whisper into an uncharacteristically sunny backing beat layered contrarily behind emotional cries of ‘I’m tired of feeling the same old burns, from wandering through the same old fires,‘ before transitioning into a similar lament in the sixth track, ‘I’m Back Where I Was’.
9 Classic Tracks reaches a turning point with ‘I’m Like an Apple with No Skin‘, a song that will resonate with anyone who has walked away from a relationship in the name of self-preservation. Closing with ‘Until the Grave‘ Chadwick repeats the refrain ‘ Until the grave I’m fighting’. As hopeful and irrepressible as it is depressing, that confusion and acceptance is present throughout the entire album, summed up in a line in ‘Lying Down’ – ‘..’cause every human here/ is a prism dark and clear/first glass, then dust.‘
Bonus tracks, ‘You Said/I’m Buying‘ and ‘Rain It Down on You‘ close the digital version of the album, the latter of which is an endearingly tentative love song ruminating on the fear associated with falling in love again after a period of heartbreak. ‘I’ve got a lot of love to give, it’s leaking out of my eyes and skin’, sings Chadwick, ending 9 Classic Tracks on a comparatively hopeful note, mapping the familiar feeling of wanting to disregard accumulated cynicisms in favour of letting go and giving into the simpler pleasures of love.
Album out now.
Awesome clip for ‘Aquarius Gemini’
Sarah performing ‘I’m Like An Apple With No Skin’ for Rolling Stone.
Sarah Mary Chadwick ’9 Classic Tracks’ Tracklist:
1. Ask Walt
2. Am I Worth It
3. I’m God I’m Fate
4. Lying Down
5. Same Old Fires
6. I’m Back Where I Was
7. Aquarius Gemini
8. I’m Like An Apple With No Skin
9. Until The Grave
10. You Said I’m Buying *Digital Bonus Track
11. Rain It Down On Me *Digital Bonus Track
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