Sarah Darling is ready to unleash her stunning new album ‘Wonderland‘ on the world this summer. The gorgeous record which was written, recorded and produced across the UK during 2018 was originally slated for a March 1st release but due to ongoing issues with crowdfunding site PledgeMusic the LP has to be pushed back.
However, this set back has worked out just the way it was meant to and starting next week, the Nashville based artist will kick-off her headlining tour across Britain in support of the record.
But before that, Sarah Darling will perform across the weekend at the C2C Festival and has today released her sensational new single ‘Fire’ which is an inspirational track inspired by the Vincent Van Gogh quote: “There may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke”.
Here we chat exclusively to the adopted Brit; Sarah Darling to discuss her wonderful new album ‘Wonderland’ and 2019 UK tour:, turning British and more:
Your new album Wonderland follows on from Dream Country, can fans expect the same dream like vibe on this new record?
Wonderland absolutely still has all the dream vibes, but it pushes out of the melancholy feel of Dream Country . It’s very fun, upbeat, and transportive. I’ve described it as giant road trip, and all the things you learn along the way. It’s my favorite body of work to date, and I find myself dancing around my kitchen listening to the final mixes!
You recorded the LP in the UK, what was the driving force behind choosing Britain to make the album?
There are a few reasons why I wanted to record Wonderland in the UK. Because my husband is English, I’ve always felt incredibly strong ties with the UK and my love story. Another reason as an artist it’s so good to push yourself to new adventures. I feel like I learned so much about myself this year, and wanted to push to new boundaries. Putting yourself in a new situation can be amazing and uncomfortable at the same time, but that’s where the magic comes in. Lastly, all the wonder that I feel in the UK. I wanted to record music in a place that makes me feel loved.
You have described Wonderland as your take on the Nashville meets London sound, does that mean we can expect a more pop style compared to Dream Country?
What I love about the recording process, is each place in the World does music differently. I wanted to take my Nashville roots and blend it with a London sound. The album has taken a more progressive pop feel, but has nothing but me running through it. I got to work with an incredible mix of producers and writers on this project who I consider friends now. . I’m excited for my fans to hear this different side of me. I am a big fan of all the rhythmic and ethereal stacked vocals happening on Wonderland. It sends you to a wonderful place.
You spent most of 2018 touring and recording across the UK, do you have a standout moment from last year?
2018 has been the most traveled year of my life! I hands down will say November 2018 was probably the standout time for me. I went to Wales for two weeks and stayed in the most beautiful town of Hay on Wye while recording half my album with producer, Jim Eliot. There’s a magic about bringing music to life in a gorgeous place. After Hay, I went into the studio with a producer duo called My Riot, and worked on the second half of Wonderland at RAK studios in London. I’ve never had so much fun recording in those last two weeks of November. When I reflect and listen to the mixes, I can hear how wonderful that time it really was. Now I get to share that with my supporters.
You released several tracks last year and ended 2018 with the first official taste of Wonderland in the form of the brilliant Call Me, how excited have you been by the response to the song so far?
Call Me has gone over a storm! It’s been incredible to see the reaction happening on Spotify too. It’s absolutely a favorite singing live right now.
Call Me has a more pop style compared to tracks such as Diamonds and Where Cowboys Ride was that a conscious decision or did it happen naturally?
The pop style is a natural progression of making a country record in England. That’s truly the best part of this story, that I got to do my art in another part of the world! That will always bring different flavors!
What was the overall writing and recording experience like for Wonderland?
Spending all of last year in England was a huge commitment for me, but one of the greatest adventures of my life. My husband is an absolute star for the support he gives me. I also did gain a weird Nashville meets Brit accent I’m trying to figure out. The overall writing aspect was so wonderful, because I was collaborating with new writers and producers. Being able to take my sound and merge it with something new was a wonderful challenge. This process was so fun, I might have to make a record somewhere else in the world! I’ve got the itch now.
Spending so much time here lately that you have now started to get an English accent, have you also started to become more British in other ways?
I can’t stop saying the word Lovely and I’m using puns. I don’t know what’s happened to me! It’s all a good change, even the mid-atlantic accent happening.
You reference tattoos in the lyrics of the Wonderland tracks Call Me and Light It Up, but would you ever consider getting an inking yourself?
Possibly! The problem with me is that I love too many things. I don’t know if I could actually decide on one!
March is going to be a huge month for you with your headlining UK tour, what can fans expect from the string of dates?
I plan on spending lots of time in the UK this year! You can expect a really high energy show that leaves a smile on your face. It’s a journey through my experience of 2018, and I couldn’t be more proud of how it turned out.
The tour comes one year after your standout debut headlining UK tour, and you’re performing at larger venues this time around, is there one venue in particular you’re most excited about playing at?
It’s amazing to think it was only a few years back I played my first show in England. To fast forward to now and how much I’ve grown, to be playing these beautiful venues, I’m absolutely over the moon about it all. I’m really looking forward to headlining Bush Hall! It’s a lovely space.
Will you be taking a full band on the road or will it be the trio set up you had during your UK festival dates last year?
The shows will be full band. I want listeners to experience the album in it’s full form with all the nuances.
Do you have any pre stage rituals before performing live?
I usually take 30 minutes to block out the noise for a minute. I usually go to a place by myself and feel grateful. My goal is to be the best light that I can be in the moment.
What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about being out on the road?
I love the journey of seeing new things, trying new foods, but the hardest is being away from home. I love my sweet little sanctuary and hubby.
Is there one song in particular off Wonderland that you’re most excited about performing live?
Right now my favorite song on the project is Blue Sky! It just has this wonderful feel to it, and I love playing it live.
Last year you premiered a number of new tracks such as the beautiful Angel Wings, and the uptempo More Issues Than Vogue, but they didn’t make the tracklist, can you tell us why?
I absolutely love these songs, but none actually made the cut. Not because they aren’t great, but because Wonderland was a different story to tell. I believe great songs stay around and will find a place!
You’re basically an adopted Brit now with the UK Country fans falling in love with your honey toned vocal and inspirational lyrics, how has the support from British fans changed your career?
The love I’ve received in the UK has changed my life. I feel like I’ve found myself over the last few years, and everyone who’s ever bought a ticket to my show has been part of that. It’s so beautiful to know that my stories have connected somewhere else in the world. The funny thing is I now feel like the UK is becoming my home away from home. You won’t be able to get rid of me now!
Along with touring and releasing Wonderland what else do you have planned for this year?
My biggest focus is releasing Wonderland to the world and all the new magic that will come from that!
Tickets for Sarah Darling’s Wonderland UK tour are on sale now!
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Feature photo credit: Sara Kauss