Week in Pop: Ha Ha Mart, Mane, The Tablets

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Sarah P.

The infinite & timeless styles of Sarah P.; photographed by Fotini Chora.

Ever since Sarah P.’s departure from her previous band Keep Shelly in Athens, international spotlights of press interest have been cast on the singer/songwriter/model/icon’s next move & solo career. Launching her own own imprint EraseRestart that represents the aesthetic in sound, sensibility, sight & attitude that elevates Sarah’s delivery to a hyper-real/personal form of expressionism. With today’s grand release of her anticipated full-length solo debut Who Am I—Sarah’s signature vocal executions rise, dive, whisper, fly, speak & more with full creative license to run freely. Lyrics that delve into identity, histories, personal loss, relationships & more & expressed in electric song as she conducts all electronic instrumental elements to orbit according to moods, thematic & rhythmic fashions.
An epistolary style of intimacy is exhibited from the launch of “A Letter From Urban Street”, where quests to reckon & resolve build before firing full force on “ForgetRegret” where irreconcilable realities strike in methods without compromise (as heard in the hard hitting, serious synths) with numerous lyrical couplets that will catch your ear, such as “there in things in your life that you cannot regret.” Much has been said over the years about comparisons of Sarah’s voice to early-80s Madonna; but on “Away From Me” Sarah re-twists a cool Blondie style (complete with spoken-word/rap section) that rains down sharp-emotive synths on “Instead of You” that is a plea for humanism & acceptance of one another that is reinforced by the ethereal “LoveStory”. The fairy-tale crystal-disco ball is shattered indefinitely on the ballroom-blazer “Summer Prince” that proves Sarah P. to be one of the world’s greatest pop stars capable of composing a seemingly infinite cadre of classics. Music that sounds like something that exists in its own place/world/time; Sarah exhibits a versatile knack for continuing the creative conversation in the realms of dance music & more that feels inclusive to all. This can be heard on the title track “Who Am I” that asks about the nature of identity with a host of driven rhythms that rides to the modern futurism of “Millennial Girl”, as the celestial love song “To You” ignites in grandiose movements & motion waves of keys wah-wah chords as the album’s pre-finale. Who Am I draws to a close with “Berlin During Winter” that starts summer 2017 early with glacier electro pop that sounds like icy catacombs that echo forgotten eras that have been obfuscated by the tundra, shrubbery & blankets of snow. Sarah P.’s debut pits the hounds of the past, feelings of the present & resolve toward residing over her own tomorrow through a cathartic display of electro-pop proliferation, sophistication, an earnest depiction of praxis that offers a glimpse of internal processes that are honest & humbling that will give most listeners a moment for pause & reflection. Sarah has sent the universe a love-letter of self-care & the perpetual mission & quest for self-understanding (not to mention our understanding of others).

Who Am I is finally out and I’m closer to knowing myself a bit better. But how about you? Do you know yourselves good enough to navigate through life and changes with ease? I certainly don’t—I won’t lie. However, I learned how to be true to myself and live up to my standards and hopes.
The change came the day that a little seed started growing inside me. It sprung like a rose—complex but pretty, impressive. We’re talking about the definition of life, after all. For the weeks we lived together—the closest I’ve been to motherhood, so far—I felt alive, connected and important. Carrying life, nurturing it. Talking and caring about it without even needing to know it first. Then it was gone and I was responsible for it. Because we had decided that we weren’t able to keep it, and—as if it heard us, altruistic as it was, it left for somewhere better, I hope.
It was a miscarriage, it could have been an abortion—who’s business is that except for ours? My husband and I still tear up in the thought of that unborn baby that we wish we’d been able to bring it to life and take care of it. And as difficult as it has been—grieving such great loss, I’ve been lucky, because it all happened naturally & at an early point. And because I had a partner next to me who cared and loved me and who didn’t run away from me when I needed him the most or when my hormones threw a party in my body without my consent.
So many women, so many miscarriages and abortions. So many unborn children. So many children that had to be given away. So many babies that got born in a world that won’t be fair to them. So many women who go through these hardships alone and suffer in silence. So many people deciding for them and for their body. Hopefully, my record will make them smile and give them hope. Hopefully, my lyrics and tunes will make them feel less lonely and more understood. And yes, it’s a personal record; it’s my story that I dedicate it to all those who walked through similar paths.
All songs were written post grieving and hiding. Why hiding and keeping quiet when I have so much to say? While trying to figure out my role in this world – am I just a failed breeding machine? – I wrote songs about all those things I can’t understand. Mistakes – why do we keep on making the same mistakes again and again? Superficiality and capitalism – is there a way out? Love – is it as complicated as it seems to be?
I wrote it all through my perspective. Who Am I is a feminine album and some people love women, while some others don’t.
Thank you for your time and I really hope that you’ll enjoy listening to my record.
With love and respect,
Sarah P.