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Emerging Pop Rock Folk Singer-Songwriter Sarah McGowan Evokes the Intelligence, Depth and Craft of Natalie Merchant on Debut LP; Impressive Young Artist Co-Produces Album, Highlighting Diverse Musical Styles and Technical Savvy; Inspirations Range from Th
(Published: October 07, 2015)

For Immediate Release                                                                                               
October 5, 2015

With a Mature Perspective That Belies her Age, Emerging Pop Rock Folk Singer-Songwriter Sarah McGowan Evokes the Intelligence, Depth and Craft of Natalie Merchant

"I'm All About Being Sweet With An Edge"
"My goal with this album was to have every song sound unique and have a little "edge", whether it is through a quirky lyric or an unusual instrument in the mix"

Impressive Young Artist Co-Produces Album, Highlighting Diverse Musical Styles and Technical Savvy; Inspirations Range from The Strokes to Amy Winehouse to The Ronettes

Pop/Rock/Folk Singer-Songwriter Sarah McGowan separates herself from the pack with a ten-song collection that evokes the self-assuredness, intelligence and melodic craft of Natalie Merchant's breakthrough solo CD, ‘Tigerlily'.

As Co-Producer of her debut full-length album For Whom They Sing, McGowan reveals an array of strengths, ranging from her exploration of diverse musical styles (with inspirations as distinct as The Strokes and The Ronettes,) to her technical savvy, to her thoughtful approach to the overall concept, as she told Huffington Post: "My goal with this album was to have every song sound unique and have a little "edge", whether it is through a quirky lyric or an unusual instrument in the mix."

HUFFINGTON POST - Exclusive Video Premiere
9/29/15, by Michael Ragogna

"My goal with this album was to have every song sound unique and have a little 'edge,' whether it is through a quirky lyric or an unusual instrument in the mix. For the 'When I Come Home' video, the director is Josh Hammond and the producers are Katherine Paige and Scott Schuler. We've been working on this video for almost 6 months now, going through many different ideas and visions before finally settling on our current abstract, visually interesting concept. We filmed at several locations throughout NYC, including Bush Terminal Piers Park in Sunset Park, and several of our friends' apartments. Everything was done on a shoestring budget--in fact, many of the people who worked on the video are my former classmates and friends at NYU. Concept-wise, it was a collaborative process between myself, the producers, and the director. We created different colorful, interesting vignettes that told the story of my song--having relationship issues, but coming home at the end of the day and hoping that everything will be ok. We wanted each vignette to be as colorful, creative, and interesting as possible, with the performance sequence tying the video together. Our hope is that the video will be unique so that people in our world--with short attention spans--will want to watch and re-watch it!"

From the stark "A Good Man" to McGowan's ‘bitch rock' track "Desperate as You" (inspired by Amy Winehouse and Har Mar Superstar)...from the heavy truth of "Young Bride" to the indie-pop werewolves of "Full Moon Kids," to the Apache Native American-driven "For Whom They Sing," McGowan's album is a deep, diverse statement from a witty artist with talent to spare. She comments: "This album is a collection of songs I wrote over the past 3 years. I went through a lot in that time--love, loss, traveling, graduating college, becoming an adult--and the songs on the album reflect that period. Each song has a different style--it's a blend of pop, rock, and folk. I had complete artistic freedom with this project, so I was able to experiment with lots of different sounds and genres. My worst nightmare is creating an album full of songs that are nearly impossible to distinguish from one another. So, my goal with this album was to have every song sound unique and have a little "edge", whether it is through a quirky lyric or an unusual instrument in the mix. For example, I composed and recorded a musical saw part in one song, used homemade synth sounds created through Puredata in another, and got to cuss whenever I wanted. Putting together this album has been a fantastic learning experience and has helped me discover who I am as an artist."

McGowan's also got a keen eye for style and a distinctive fashion look, as seen in her visually arresting clip for ‘When I Come Home'.  YouTube link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxY5GnQdMIw

A U.S. tour is in the planning stages, and details will be announced soon. Initial shows include October 17th at The Fire in Philadelphia, and an album release show on November 14th at Arlene's Grocery in NYC.

Song notes By McGowan:
"Williamsburg Boy"-This is a fun, quirky song about an average girl who is in love with a cool hipster dude from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It's a satire about hipster culture and is not a serious song. I gave it a vintage surf-rock sound (whammy bar included), which was inspired by the Beach Boys and Best Coast.

"Molly"-This song is one of the most eerie on my album and explores my indie rock side. It's a double entendre-on one hand, it's about a woman who is trying to seduce my man. It also can be interpreted as being about a man addicted to a drug. It's up to the listener to decide.

"Indian Summer"-This is another dark song. It's about ending a painful relationship. I love that we used a lot of interesting instruments and sounds in this mix, including harmonium, cello, and a recording of a thunderstorm. This song was influenced by Florence + The Machine and The xx.

"When I Come Home"-"When I Come Home" is an upbeat folk-rock song. It's about having problems in a relationship but wanting everything to be ok at the end of the day. Two unique instruments we used in the mix were the harmonium and strummed mandolin, which gives the song depth.

"A Good Man"-Like "When I Come Home", this song explores my folk-rock side. Written with fellow musician and songwriter P.J. Pacifico, it's about the concept of what a "good man" is and how you could be with someone who everyone thinks is so wonderful but still not be happy with him. So I'm considering the alternative--finding someone who isn't necessarily a "good guy", but rather someone who makes me happy. I wanted the song to have a little edge, so I composed and recorded a saw part with Natalia "The Saw Lady" Paruz, which gives the song a unique character.

"Desperate As You"-The inspiration for this song is a mix of classic Motown (The Ronettes) and its modern interpretations (Amy Winehouse, Har Mar Superstar). "Desperate As You" is what I like to call "bitch rock". It's about being in the same room with a girl your guy used to date and feeling that awkward tension. The lyrics are light and pop-y, and I think the old school vibe of the song is a really fun contrast to the content.

"For Whom They Sing"-The song is inspired by Apache Native American culture. When someone is really sick, a medicine man performs a ceremony where they chant to the sick individual (i.e. "the one for whom they sing"). I tell the story of being ill through a mixture of spooky synth sounds I created using Puredata and gritty rock elements to give the song a surreal, almost unsettling vibe.

"I Think I Want Him"-This is a blues inspired satirical song. Like "Williamsburg Boy", this is not intended to be serious. It's about a strong, independent woman who meets a guy at a bar and thinks that he's a total loser, but she's still attracted to him. It's definitely not a serious song (and I name check Christopher Walken in it).

"Full Moon Kids"-"Full Moon Kids" is a fun song about a night with a full moon and how all the weirdos and outcasts (I wrote it with werewolves in mind) come out and finally feel accepted. It can also be interpreted as a coming out song for the LGBT community. This is a fast paced, catchy indie-pop song inspired by The Strokes.

"Young Bride"-This is a song about getting married young. The refrain is "I will never be a young bride." That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just a heavy truth. So the song isn't really sad, it's just sort of a dark and haunting reflection with lots of layered vocals and echoey drums.

More About Sarah McGowan:
Sarah began writing songs at the age of 14, performing her first original piece at a high school composition concert in her hometown of Darien, CT in 2007. She continued to write and perform locally. In 2010, Sarah began attending New York University, pursuing a B.A. in Music and Spanish. In the fall of her freshman year (2010), she made her New York City debut, playing at The Red Lion. Sarah played there 2-3 times a year between 2010 and 2012.
In 2013, she lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 4 months and studied Latin American music, as well as how to play the charango, a South American stringed instrument. Living in South America was a huge inspiration for Sarah's music.
When Sarah returned to the US in the summer of 2013, she began interning under producer J Chris Griffin at Engine Room Audio in Manhattan and learned music production and engineering. Around this time, Sarah started to evolve her musical style, graduating from the pop, Taylor Swift-inspired music of her teens to an edgier rock/folk style. She describes her sound as "sweet with an edge". Sarah's songs are heavily inspired by such musical acts as Florence + the Machine, Feist, Regina Spektor, and Joni Mitchell.
Sarah released her first EP of original songs, Indian Summer, on January 27th, 2015 and continues to play NYC venues such as Pianos, Arlene's Grocery, and Pete's Candy Store. Her first full length album is due out in Fall 2015.
When not playing music, Sarah enjoys cooking vegetarian food, baking, reading, and chilling with her cat, Pancake.


More Information: http://www.sarahmcgowanmusic.com

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