20 Aug 2021

Sarah King – Poison

Americana is not one of the most well-known titles used to categorize music but is in fact one of the best selling music genres. It’s classified as contemporary music using both acoustic and electric instruments that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles including country, rock, folk, bluegrass and blues. Popular Americana names include Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers and Wilco. Emerging from this grassroots family is female dynamo, Sarah King and her evocative hit ‘Posion‘ which is accompanied with an equally gritty professional lyric video.

Singer/songwriter Sarah King has made a grand entrance into the music industry. Currently based in Vermont, King has roots in Georgia, New York and originally Maine. Her love of music began at an early age but she notes that it didn’t’ come easy. Growing up in a household that didn’t overly support her career choice, King wasn’t allowed to watch MTV or attend concerts. Being true to herself (and a total boss babe), she bought her first guitar with her own money after high school and went on to study opera and classical music in college. King credits her powerful vocals and good technique to her formal musical training. In 2019, Sarah released a full-length album which featured members of her former Georgia-based band. What has really turned heads in the world of music is her debut solo EP ‘The Hour‘ which was released on March 19th. This EP was produced by Simone Felice and David Baron (The Lumineers, Jade Bird, The Felice Brothers) and features 5 songs with a total of 16 minutes of pure dark Americana infused with blues rock and soul music. Clearly the new queen of gothic story telling, King is nothing short of fierce (which is fitting as she has the word tattooed on her arm).

With David Baron on piano and Sarah singing live, the first song on the EP titled ‘Poison’ is poignant and cathartic. King says “it’s definitely a little bit of a departure from the other songs on “The Hour” in that it’s a little more straight up country soul, less rock and roll…The song is also a little less dark and more hopeful than some of my other songs – it’s focused on moving forward after making a decision, instead of the sometimes difficult struggle to make the right decision, which many of my other songs cover.“. Sarah credits her inspiration for ‘Poison‘ to Representative Alexandria Ocasio and her response to harassment from a male colleague at their shared workplace; “People are harassed in so many situations every day, at work, on the street, in relationships, etc. News cameras aren’t always there to capture these incidents and are almost never there to capture how someone chooses to respond after having some time to think. AOC presented a strong response to such behavior and news cameras were there to capture both the incident and her response. Her words reminded me how many times I’d been in similar situations and just walked away or tried to shrug it off and how I want to be stronger. Especially now, using my voice and having a platform, I will not back down just to make other people feel more comfortable in their bad behavior. It’s time to call it out and stand up to people who treat others poorly (in any situation).“.

In July 2020, King released a professional lyric video to pair with her mellifluous ballad ‘Poison‘. When asked why she chose a lyric video for this song she says, “I felt the lyrics in this song were both very powerful and very universal, and I didn’t want a visual narrative to compete with the lyrical storyline, or to sway viewers into feeling a certain way about the song. I wanted to make sure people could hear and understand every word along with the underlying message that it isn’t a song about giving up, but a song about strength in the face of deep challenges.“. When releasing a song that has such a crucial undercurrent, lyric videos can be valuable in relaying that message to fans. This music video accomplishes just that using a combination of nature imagery and commanding fonts. We see birds flying, rushing water, mountains, rocks and trees which all in their own hold an array of symbolism mirroring strength, courage and resilience. King touches on this when highlighting her favorite part of the lyric video, “around 1:17 when the second verse starts with the line “I stand straight before you, I won’t walk away this time” and has the images of these ancient rocks in the desert that have stood in such harsh conditions, and then moves into the trees standing tall for “I’m not bent and I’m not broken by your crimes.” These strong, powerful images of rocks and trees fit the strength of the lyrics so well.”. I particularly want to shout out to the fast-paced hard cut background changes when the drum rolls. This small custom work really elevates the lyric video and gives it depth. I also love that the lyrics are big and eye-catching as they fade in to King’s merciless vocals. The clever choice to utilize two fonts and a subtle color variation pulls focus on key words such as listen, change and broken.

The professional lyric video for ‘Poison‘ is beautifully executed with as much veracity as the single. Next on the agenda, King is eager to get back on stage with a full-band tour supporting The Steel Woods in August, followed by an East Coast/Appalachian tour down to Nashville/Georgia and back in the fall that she says will feature both solo and full-band performances. Sarah King is a force in the music industry and one that I will be following closely because strong women appreciate strong women.

You can listen/follow Sarah on all music streaming and social media platforms here https://sarahkingsings.com/links

Check out ‘Poison‘ on Sarah King’s Official YouTube channel here:

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