As the gloomy days of this Covid-19 summertime sadness comes to a close, I sat down and opened my email to see a slew of messages that I had left unopened. Preparing for the worst, I went through each email like I was clicking boxes in Minesweeper, waiting for some important detail I had neglected.
In one of these emails, I spotted a very interesting artist that emailed me about a sophomore LP from a local artist, this artist being Sara Marie Barron, the titular R&B/Soul musician based here in Detroit.
Intrigued, I listened to her discography, a colorful array of music I did not expect: a production quality vivid yet also uniquely vintage visuals on her music videos. So I exchanged some emails and did what people might call “networking” and received some download codes for her upcoming LP “Existential Glam”.
“Existential Glam” is a valued testament to what Detroit has to offer creatively, a very realized project with layers that I just didn’t expect. I think as an artist it is important to show your evolution, and here I think Barron is taking a huge step forward in becoming one of the bigger and hotter artists.
Her original LP, “Sad, but True” had clear jazz roots and a lot of Motown classic artists, but here in “Existential Glam” you see a new side of Barron that draws from even more influences, dipping into the modern pop and R&B flavors you’d get from artists like Shay Lia and Kyle Dion.
I had the privilege of sitting down to do an interview with Sara, speaking on not only her major influences visually and musically from nationally to internationally acclaimed artists but the influences of local artists that helped her put things together.
A lot of her influences come from artists like Etta James and the Motown artists of her childhood but also from going around in clubs and spending her younger years making connections with local artists, putting together a team to make music.
We also talked about her inspirations visually. We talked about movies that she is familiar with as my audience is normally suited for movie/pop culture references, and one in particular that she cited were the bright technicolor of Suspiria, a horror classic by Dario Argento. She used these influences of older colorful films in her videos for “Silence”, her lead single, and “PrettyGirl”, another single off of “Existential Glam”.
“Existential Glam” follows a clear trajectory seemingly about a relationship yet also simultaneously vague and mysterious. It starts with the happier upbeat parts like the intro track “Up All Night” and “Pretty Girl”, then ending with the mellow close, “Silence”, her main/title track”.
Barron said that she enjoys the idea of an album telling a story, and put the songs in order to have that affect of listening to a story, however in modern times she doesn’t believe that people listen to albums anymore (which is ironic to say to a vinyl collector).
The affects of Covid-19 have been widespread, but according to Barron this didn’t affect her creative process. She had started production on it in April 2019, which prior to then she said she only did live recorded music/vocals. She decided to experiment with more intense production and instrumentals.
What she was most affected by was her concert scheduling. Her performances she wanted to do were postponed or cancelled, and so in the future, she will be doing a performance of her new music.
Sara had one thing to say to all the creatives out there who want to pursue their craft, that you have to give it your all to that one thing and you will absolutely make it.
Sara Marie Barron’s “Existential Glam” is out September 25 on all your major music streaming platforms.