Sarah Blasko talks Depth of Field and the bridezilla metamorphosis
Sarah Blasko gifted us with her immaculate sixth album, Depth Of Field, last month, and it has provided everything fans wanted and more. Music Insight chatted to the musician about the record, underwater manoeuvres and bridezillas.
Blasko drew from many influences for this album, imbibing elements of blues and soul music, but still trying to make a pop album in her own unique way.
“I guess I was really inspired by albums that had a lot of space. I love Solange’s album, A Seat At The Table, and the last Frank Ocean album, Blond, so they were just two records that just really made an impression on me in the last couple of years,” she said.
Fusing elements from her last two records Eternal Return and I Awake, everything developed in the writing process.
“All the demos we made, instead of kind of scrapping them and starting again, we just carried on from the demos. So everything kind of just started with the main drum machine and mostly like a piano and a baritone guitar, so everything sprung from that.”
Her crystalline vocals, paired with profound lyrics, are what make Depth Of Field a step above her previous albums. Brutal yet beautiful, Blasko digs out her lyrics from places of familiarity and experience.
“For me it always starts from personal experience and then it kind of just springboards from there. I guess it’s like a lot of things; if you go through them personally, whatever’s going on inside you, you look at how it relates to the world in general.
“On this record, more so than other albums I’ve done, I thought to put myself in the shoes of other characters, other people, and try to see different perspectives of the same situation.”
When the album was coming together, having the ability to hear her songs develop with the use of strings was her favourite part of the recording process, described as a “decadent part of making a record, partly because it’s a very extensive process. It feels like such a luxury to be able to work with strings.”
Working on the music video for ‘A Shot’ was a collaborative effort for Blasko, and getting the video to present the lyrics in an abstract but narrative way was important.
“For me, I think there’s these two very different sides to the one person. It relates to when you have some really big disappointment and somebody really lets you down, you feel like they’ve betrayed you. There’s always a side of you where the anger is kind of overwhelming. Then there’s this feeling of acceptance that eventually comes.”
Half of the music video for ‘A Shot’ was filmed underwater, with Blasko moving and swimming around in an effortless fashion. On the flip side to what viewers see, manoeuvring underwater is actually a challenging task.
“It’s important that you relax your breathing; you’re not just like *GASP* and take a big breath like that. Yeah, there was a lot of laughing in the pool.”
‘Phantom’ was the first track to be released off the album, and is one of Blasko’s favourites to play live.
“I feel like we should do a 10-minute version which is really quite danceable in a live setting.”
‘Never Let Me Go’, the ultra-dramatic, synth-driven masterpiece, is the one with a surprising story that most wouldn’t pick.
“It’s kind of about bridezillas,” Blasko said.
“You know, that sort of idea that when they fall in love they present their best self and then as soon as they’ve got someone in their clutches they just become like a crazy person.”
Describing the song as a little tongue in cheek, Blasko is intrigued by the human mind and one’s chameleon-like tendencies.
“I’m just very interested in how changeable people are from one unit to the next. People have this idea of who they think they are and the idea that other people have of them and they can be this totally other thing completely in the privacy of their own home.”
When talking about her upcoming tour, an excitement for playing in dance-worthy venues is clear, talking about her experiences during past tours with people being limited to their chairs.
“For a few years I’ve been in the more gentrified world of playing in theatres where everyone’s seated. Sometimes that feels a little lacking in atmosphere. We had a couple of people on the last tour get angry because they were told to sit down and they weren’t allowed to dance. We were playing in venues where it actually didn’t make sense to, it was sort of insulting to people to dance. And there were these arguments like ‘I wanna dance!’ and ‘no, sit down!’”
Depth Of Field is out now. Check out dates for the 2018 Australian tour below.
Sarah Blasko 2018 Australian Tour Dates
Saturday, 12th May
The Triffid, Brisbane
Saturday, 26th May
Odeon Theatre, Hobart
Friday, 1st June
Metro Theatre, Sydney
Friday, 8th June
The Gov, Adelaide
Friday, 15th June
The Rosemount, Perth
Thursday, 21st June
The Capitol Theatre, Bendigo
Friday, 22nd June
170 Russell, Melbourne