Album Review

Interview: Sarah Darling Talks About Her New Album ‘Dream Country’

It has been a few years since Sarah Darling‘s last album, but she is now set to release her long overdue album, Dream Country, on February 10th. Darling has been in the country music scene for many years with multiple appearances at the famed Grand Ole Opry. Darling has released several albums, garnering over a half million downloads worldwide, with two #1 videos on CMT and GAC. Darling has opened for artists such as Carrie Underwood and Kacey Musgraves, among others.

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Dream Country takes listeners on a journey through aspirations, with songs about the stars, dreams and romance. Each track on the album blissfully describes an emotion or experience with Darling’s soothing voice, backed by a cinematic sound. Songs like Halley’s Comet has a very special undertone with comparisons to the free-spirited and awe-inspiring Halley’s Comet. The song takes you on a journey through the past, where Darling experiences her doubts and wonders where her life will take her. The lyrics describe Darling’s feelings and all the magical parts of life brought upon by gazing at Halley’s Comet.

Listen to Sarah Darling’s “Halley’s Comet”

Continuing with the dreamy theme of the stars, Starry Eyes, is a letter to your younger self with advice on how to deal with the struggles of life. The lyrics describe the sense of hope and light through the darkness of bad experiences. It is a life lesson to never give up on yourself and to keep on pushing through. Darling pleads for this younger self to “keep those Starry Eyes” and to always keep that twinkle in their eye, to become one of the brightest stars of the world.

Dream Country takes a step back from the modern country limelight with simple backing tracks and elegant guitar strums, piano, violin and various other instruments. The entire album plays like a symphony to one’s journey through all of life’s hardships and greatest treasures. Darling’s voice perfectly encompasses this overall tone of the album with each note enchanting the listener, leaving them in a dream-like state to fully take in each and every lyric. Overall, Dream Country, is a solid album that captures the spirit of dreamers everywhere and brings them on an unforgettable journey among the stars.

We had the chance to interview Darling about her latest release, check out the interview below!

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Variety Beat: How did you come up with the title, Dream Country?

 
Sarah Darling: While I was recording the record, I actually came up with the title.  I had a friend pop over to the studio to listen to the first cuts, and I remember him telling me it sounded country, cinematic.  Then the term “Dream Country” came out of my mouth and it stuck ever since.  It’s a world I’ve created.

VB: What are some of your inspirations behind the songs on this album? 
 
SD: I’m very much inspired by traveling to places and beauty.  A lot of the tunes on my album capture the wide open spaces which have always been close to my heart.  I grew up in small town Iowa, where I had lots of room to dream.  I think this subject floats through Dream Country quite a bit.  I almost feel like I’m a travel songwriter! 

VB: Typically, how are these songs written and what was it like working with different songwriters?
 
SD: Working with each songwriter is completely different every time.  I find that I write my best work with my close friends.  I think there’s an openness and honesty that pops out.   For example, I wrote the track “Montmartre” about my love affair with Paris with my best friend Jenn Bostic.   Writing with her is like a girls night out with wine but bonus, we write a song! My other favorite writing process was “Where Cowboys Ride.” I wrote it with Zach Runquist.  We both adore Wyoming, and literally wrote a song looking at images of golden fields and wide open skies.  It’s a mixed bag but that’s what’s amazing about being a songwriter. 

VB: How does this album differ than your past work?
 
SD: It’s a lot different from my past work I would say.  There was a lot more creative freedom and exploring while making this project. I had always dreamed about making a string heavy record and I did it! I wanted the tracks to tell a story to the listener.  I also experimented crossing over into other genres which was fun.  

VB: How has your musical influences or style changed with this new album?
 
SD: Not much has changed as far as influences go, but I almost feel like the pool just got bigger.  There’s a big appreciation for so many types of music.  I love seeing Chris Stapleton add his thing to country music! I love anyone who inspires me. 

VB: What separates this album apart from other albums that are currently out?
 
SD: I haven’t heard anything like it, and that’s great from my stand point. It’s country mixed with dreaminess with a dash of strings. I did me, and it happened to be different.  I think this is good advice for any artist.  Always be yourself in what you do. 

VB: What do you hope listeners take away from this album?
 
SD: I hope listeners dream a littler bigger and shine a little brighter.  It’s really encouraging and I hope everyone gets to experience that.  It was therapeutic for me when writing it! 

VB: What are some of your future plans? (Tour, radio, next single)
 
SD: I will be touring like crazy this year both in the US and UK which is fun.  My next single takes you to the West.  That’s my only hint! I also have some gorgeous videos I’ll be releasing all this year from my travels abroad.  Can’t wait. 
Dream Country is available Febraury 10, 2017. Pre-order here.
Tracklisting:
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