Monday, 28 May 2012

Sara Bareilles - Once Upon Another Time

It was way back in 2007 that Sara Bareilles hit the charts with Love Song, that saw the singer-songwriter becoming a borrower in the video.  The song featured on her album 'Little Voice', but since then she's been quiet.  Well, in the UK at least, since in the US her follow-up 'Kaleidoscope Heart' hit number one, plus she's had Grammy nominations and was a judge on choir TV competition The Sing-Off.

Her 'Once Upon Another Time' EP is a collection of Bareilles's latest work and was produced by co-judge Ben Folds.  The opening (and title) track is mostly acapella, with a hint of Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek.  It's an arresting start, her effortless vocal in full force as the track gradually unfurls with simple accompaniment and vocal harmonies.  The recording has a very intimate feel, every breath and lick of the lips present in clear detail. It creates an air of honesty that permeates the lyrics of the whole EP, most of all in final track Bright Lights and Cityscapes which details a broken relationship with simply oscillating piano.

Lead single Stay is an edgier, more bluesy track that brings out a rawness in Bareilles's vocal.  This increases with Lie To Me, it's emphasis on percussion and blazing synths reflecting the spiteful line "you sound just like a Judas".  The cleverly titled Sweet As Whole provides a moment of humour amongst the dark intensity of the rest of the EP, the chorus repeating "f*ck that guy he's just an asshole".  It's another example, though, of her extreme honesty.

Moving away from her pop success, Bareilles proves with this EP she deserves to be taken seriously and is far more than a one hit wonder.


Listen: 'Once Upon Another Time' is available now.