SARAH BROWN: The Great Heart Robbery
By David Kearney
Following the release of her self-titled debut in 2006, the Marlborough’s quirky songstress Sarah Brown has travelled the world and otherwise kept plenty busy becoming a first-time mother, writing and recording this new album and teaching at her new local school. Brown’s sophomore album is an eclectic collection of bittersweet love songs. Recorded at Sydney’s illustrious Studios 301 with producer Tony Buchen (who produced Gin Wigmore’s celebrated debut EP), it is released DIY-style on her own BooMusic label. Recorded with the aid of NZ On Air album funding, the 11 tracks each have their own individual style and feel, glued together into a cohesive whole by Brown’s sassy and beguiling vocals. While the bold blend of pop, soul, blues, and both western and eastern folk might bear some resemblance to contemporaries Wigmore, Duffy, Winehouse et al, Brown’s vocal boasts the ethereal sweetness of Eva Cassidy, the sultry confidence of Fiona Apple and the nuanced delivery of Regina Spektor. Standout moments include the seductive swagger of first single Best of You, the irrepressible gypsy charm of Sweet Vengeance and the stripped down bluesy lament of the title track. As a whole this album is a testament to the abilities and work ethic of a fine Kiwi talent.