New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Sarah Mary Chadwick announces her seventh full-length album, Me And Ennui Are Friends Baby, out February 5th, 2021 on Rice Is Nice Records (AUS/NZ/EU) and Ba Da Bing Records (US/EU), and today presents its lead single/video, “Every Loser Needs A Mother.”
Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby will be released on LP with a bonus limited run of pink coloured vinyl. Accompanying a small number of the coloured vinyl will be a short run of alternate covers, individually hand-painted by Chadwick herself.
Comprised entirely of minimal solo piano arrangements, Ennui is despondently clear-eyed and smirkingly self-deprecating, completing a trilogy of records that started with ‘The Queen Who Stole The Sky’ and her only outing to date featuring a full band, ‘Please Daddy’.
Each record has followed Chadwick’s internal processing after a traumatic event, with Chadwick’s zeal for psychoanalysis front and centre. On Ennui, Chadwick presents an exacting intensity with her choice to pare back to piano and vocals. It’s in this stark setting that she focuses on the attempt she made on her life in 2019.
Just weeks before the Ennui recordings in 2019, Chadwick endured the breakup of a long term relationship and attempted her own life. These events followed the deaths of her father and a close friend, and it’s from this weighty internal mire that Chadwick emerges throughout the trilogy. Imaginably, the result is staggeringly abject.
However, the incandescent nature of her will, knack for reportage and searing dark humour sets fire to the world she describes over these 12 songs. Lead single “Every Loser Needs A Mother” offers a glimpse into this dark humour, as Chadwick describes an undesired need to take care of a dependant man: “Well I laid out his clothes // And I laughed at his jokes // And I stumbled around in // Heels and no clothes // And I went to his hell // And he kicked me out.” The track touches on all-too familiar tropes, Chadwick’s voice commanding and wryly confessional over piano.
The methods Chadwick employed on Ennui contrast those of her previous full-band record, which thrust her into a very different world of rehearsal, planning, restraint and control as a functional tool. The result, 2020’s critically acclaimed Please Daddy, was her most aching and engaging achievement to date: “a raw, often unnerving experience,” which “delivers compelling and uplifting catharsis” (Mojo). Recording Ennui shortly after the Please Daddy sessions, Chadwick concludes her trilogy by returning to the most immediate compositional process she can muster, doing it alone, with less between her and the microphone than ever before. Joined by long time production collaborators, Ennui was mastered by David Walker at Stepford Audio and mixed and recorded by Geoff O’Connor at Vanity Lair – both expertly bringing scale, subtlety and intangible ascendence to this recording. On Ennui, Chadwick is free, there is nowhere for her or us to run from the need to very presently and repeatedly articulate her trauma until it is simply, “articulated out.”
Additionally, a string of launches will be announced where Sarah will perform live to a small Melbourne crowd. These performances will be streamed live and will revolve around material from all three of the trilogy records. It will take place at a new Melbourne venue TBA, coinciding with an announcement about a series of continuous residency shows at this venue.