MP3 Sarah McGregor - More to Life
This NEW Australian singer-songwriter''s debut album will take your breath away and become a soundtrack to your life. Soulful, optimistic, contemporary and compelling. Sarah is blessed with talent.
12 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, POP: with Electronic Production
Sarah McGregor biography
"Music is a truly joyous part of my life: singing and songwriting have always been a rewarding process. Some songs are my lullabies, others are my fast foods, others are the arguments I''ve been too afraid to have, some are statements, some are wishes, some are friends'' stories and some are mine."
Sarah McGregor''s luscious debut album MORE TO LIFE is destined to become a soundtrack to people''s lives. The range of her songs is immense: from the joyful exuberance of "More to Life" the title track of the album, to the sensitivity and pathos of "Jacki''s Song", to the celebratory love songs that run like silver through the album..."Close to Perfect", "I Say Yes", "Blessed".
They are amazingly mature- there is a lot of the song/poet about Sarah. But they are also pop/accessible, with Sarah''s sometimes rich, sometimes husky voice tracking straight to the heart.
She plays guitar on some songs. She sings them all. She wrote them all. She creates songs as naturally as other people hum under the shower. "Sarah is a prodigious talent" says ORiGiN''s Philip Mortlock. "I was drawn in by her strength of songs yet her expressive vocal style is what brings them alive".
Sarah''s upbringing was filled with different locations, people, schools, influences and most of all, music. The second youngest of four children, Sarah''s family spent two years in New York and traveling around America in a VW campervan in the early 70''s with her father, writer and journalist Craig McGregor, at the wheel.
Several stints also living in the UK preceded the family''s final move to the north coast of NSW where Sarah did most of her high school years. All the while music played an integral role in the family life. "Dad used to play guitar and sing to us as kids to get us to sleep. Mostly English folk tunes, old blues and Appalachian mountain songs he''d picked up in America. Car trips up the coast: 4 kids, 2 dogs, 2 adults and twelve hours of Dad''s mixed tapes." The lounge room was dominated by a stereo flanked with floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with vinyl. Jazz, black soul, R & B and Blues dominated. BB King, King Floyd, Gil Scott Heron, Betty Davis."Saturday morning house cleaning would be done to music. I can still remember vacuuming to Stevie Wonder''s "Uptight" at 100 decibels. And all these great records with Sample Only: Not For Sale"
"Dad also introduced us to a lot of infuriating, uncompromising avant garde jazz like Albert Ayler as well as the standard jazz greats Miles Davis, Ella, Billie. We got our fair share of folk too: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Joan Armatrading and the poppier one''s like Carly Simon, James Taylor, The Beatles and The Stones. Music was everywhere."
Sarah began playing her dad''s steel string guitar at ten and started to write songs around the age of fourteen. "I used songs like diary entries," says Sarah. "I got to explore and sing about my teenage desires and disappointments. Sometimes I wrote songs for the sake of imitating style. I often liked ''telling stories'' verse upon verse of someone''s fabricated life. Later when I got heavily into Joni Mitchell I explored with open tuning and was really influenced by her idiosyncratic vocal style."
Playing guitar, writing songs and getting into performing as a backing vocalist for good friend Tania Bowra gave Sarah her practical experience. "I learnt about harmony, blending, tonality, how to make something seamless, how to add punch when needed, song arranging, instrumentation and so on." Performing with Tania over five years included a stint in New York in 1991.
Back in Australia Sarah formed a covers band Sister Kate originally a nine-piece funk soul groove band with a three-piece horn section. "It was my first experience as a lead singer and I really loved it," says Sarah. Sarah formed a side group out of Sister Kate called Baseline, with bass player Jason Bondy (Meta Bass ''N Breath), keyboard player Al Goodman (Tracky Dax) and drummer, Simon Fishburn to start developing original material. "We wrote some great stuff together, rehearsed a lot, did a few gigs and that was about it, but four of the songs we wrote together have ended up on MORE TO LIFE".
Sarah then met up with Paul Healy from the creative Supersonic team and began doing session work with them as well as a collaborative project with Paul called COCO an ambient trip hop excursion that has been likened to Massive Attack and Portishead and was released independently in 1998. Sarah and Paul are now working on a follow-up COCO album. Sarah also recently featured in the ACO/Leunig stage show, " Parables, Lullabies and Secrets" and can also be heard singing the theme song to the new Channel Seven series ''Always Greener''.
The tragic loss of a close friend in 98 became the catalyst for Sarah to put her mind to recording her first album. "Jacki was my best friend and losing her changed the way I looked at life. It threw up all the big questions for me. It gave me tremendous courage, for all the grief there was an equal amount of love. I thought what have I got to lose? If I can live through this, my saddest nightmare come true, then I can do anything. And one of the things I wanted to do was record an album of my original songs"
Working with UK producer Kevin Kehoe at his Cheeky Buddha Studio, Sarah began recording a collection of songs for her first album MORE TO LIFE. Drawing on influences such as Nightmares on Wax, Mathew Herbert and Kruder and Dorfmeister, Kevin''s production complements Sarah''s expressive and melodic songs giving the album a rich but subtle sound that makes it a truly rewarding journey for the listener. With a very small budget and no pretensions to be anything but what was right for the songs and the singer, MORE TO LIFE emerged as a truly contemporary yet accessible album.
Sarah''s job working at a community based childcare centre keeps her down to earth. "I''ve had a wonderfully rewarding ''day job'' that has kept me grounded, happy and financially secure. In a way it''s been a blessing. I have seen fellow artists struggle with trying to write what they think someone else wants to hear, or be deadened by having to do endless cover gigs and I think I have been lucky to have worked professionally but not relied on singing and writing as my sole source of income "
The completion of recording MORE TO LIFE and finding a way to get it out there has taken longer than Sarah would have hoped. The release of the album sees the emergence of a great talent that has been developed ''in the wings'' and is now ready to take center stage.
Sarah McGregor will be a hard act to pigeonhole yet her music has a universal appeal. With Kevin''s thoughtful production style, Sarah''s engaging vocal quality and the richness ( or sheer power) of her expressive songs MORE TO LIFE is destined to find a broad audience. She''s a poet of the extraordinary and everyday events of people''s lives.
"I get to sing every day what many people wouldn''t say in a lifetime it is an incredible honor, a privilege and a relief."
More To Life
An ORiGiN Recording
For more information contact
Philip Mortlock @ ORiGiN
Phone 61 2 9518 4600
e mail: origin@https://www.tradebit.com