Sara Bareilles thinks the world of her fans. In conversation with the Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, it's a topic that comes up early and often, with Bareilles recounting some of the sweet gestures she has been privy to over the years...from enthralling combinations of thousands of lighters and cell phones illuminating night time performance spaces, to the comments that trail through pages and pages of her recent webisode series about the making of her forthcoming album, Kaleidoscope Heart. Cracking smiles, giggling just a bit; it's clear her affection for them and the role they play in her life is genuine...which makes our latest concert release sort of perfect, actually.
Fresh off a high profile slot on the Lilith Fair, Bareilles recently breezed through NYC for a whirl of press opps in support of her sophomore album, Kaleidoscope Heart. Under the cozy red glow of Rockwood Music Hall's Stage 1, she was kind enough to give us some of her time as well...an appropriate setting in that the creative, nurturing hot spot on the Lower East Side was one of the first NYC venues to give her a shot. Guess that makes this an intimate, return to her roots.
Filling the room with a few lucky contest winners, Bareilles and her band strip things down just a bit, strolling through a short set of massive pop hits ("Love Song", "Gravity"), and those that are destined to become them ("King of Anything", "Uncharted"). It's all very fun and informal, not to mention extremely personal...a one on one (almost) encounter with one of today's most refreshing, pop stars. - David Pitz
- See the new album I guess started sort of formulate as I got off the road, and I took a pretty long hiatus, and I spent about eight months just at home in LA. And I'm supposed to spend a lot of that time writing, but I really -- I didn't have much to say it turns out in the beginning. And then I finally wrote one of the songs for the next record that really sort of serves as a centerpiece for me. It's called Uncharted, and that's how I got the title of the record. Kaleidoscope Heart is a lyric from that song, and that song was all about sort of stepping into the unknown and going into uncharted territory and being scared out of your mind. It was the first time I had said something that I actually cared about in a long time in terms of writing. So it was a nice kind of benchmark to start from, and the rest of the record, luckily, came after that. Because I thought I was never going to write another song again. We're going to play a selection of songs, some new and some old, and we're going to start with a brand new song called Uncharted. No words My tears won't make any room for more And it don't hurt Like anything I've ever felt before This is no broken heart No familiar scars This territory goes uncharted Just me In a room sunk down in a house in a town And I don't breathe Though I never meant to let it get away from me Now I have too much to hold Everybody has to get their hands on gold And I want uncharted I'm stuck under the ceiling I made, I can't help the feeling I'm going down Follow if you want, I won't just hang around Like you'll show me where to go I'm already out Of foolproof ideas so don't ask me how To get started It's all uncharted Each day I'm counting up the minutes 'til I get alone Because I can't stay In the middle of it all, it's nobody's fault But I'm so low Never knew so much I didn't know Oh, everything is uncharted I know I'm getting nowhere When I only sit and stare like I'm going down Follow if you want, I won't just hang around Like you'll show me where to go I'm already out Of foolproof ideas so don't ask me how To get started It's all uncharted Jump start my kaleidoscope heart I love to watch the colors fade They may not make sense But they sure as hell made me I won't go as a passenger, no Waiting for the road to be laid Though I may be going down I'll take in flame over burning out Compare Where you are to where you wanna be And you'll get nowhere I'm going down Follow if you want, I won't just hang around Like you'll show me where to go I'm already out Of foolproof ideas so don't ask me how To get started Follow if you want, I won't just hang around Like you'll show me where to go I'm already out Of foolproof ideas so don't ask me how To get started It's all uncharted - I mean in terms of creating webisodes and web content to stay connected, I think it's always been kind of a really sweet exchange with the fans. I've always felt really touched by how supportive they've been. Really people would say, "Hey, when's your next album coming out?" but nobody's ever angry with me which is really nice. But I did want to do more content this time in terms of showing the process of making a record because that's something we really didn't get in to the last time around around, and I did sort of want to bring them in to the process of what it looks like to be creating the next record and yeah, I love it. I think it's also kind of selfish for me as well. I love having that documentation to look back and feel like I have snippets and sort of like a photograph album of what this looks like, so yeah it did help spur it along in a way, but it was more of just trying to document it and just have something to show for it, I guess. So if you guys know the words to the next one. Don't be shy even though we're in a small room. Sing along, okay? Head under water and you tell me To breathe easy for awhile The breathing gets harder, even I know that You made room for me, but it's too soon to see If I'm happy in your hands I'm unusually hard to hold on to, yeah Blank stares at blank pages No easy way to say this You mean well But you make this hard on me I'm not gonna write you a love song 'Cause you asked for it 'Cause you need one, you see I'm not gonna write you a love song 'Cause you tell me it's make or break in this If you're on your way I'm not gonna write you to stay If all you have is leaving I'mma need a better reason To write you a love song today, yeah I learned the hard way that they all say Things you wanna hear And my heavy heart sinks deep down under you And your twisted words Your help just hurts You are not what I thought you were Hello to high and dry Convinced me to please you Made me think that I need this too I'm trying to let you hear me as I am I'm not gonna write you a love song 'Cause you ask for it 'Cause you need one, you see I'm not gonna write you a love song 'Cause you tell me it's make or break in this If you're on your way I'm not gonna write you to stay If all you have is leaving I'mma need a better reason To write you a love song today Promise me that you'll leave the light on To help me see daylight, my guide, gone 'Cause I believe there's a way You can love me because I say I won't write you a love song 'Cause you asked for it 'Cause you need one, you see I'm not gonna write you a love song 'Cause you tell me it's make or break in this Is that why you wanted a love song? 'Cause you asked for it 'Cause you need one, you see I'm not gonna write you a love song 'Cause you tell me it's make or break in this If you're on your way I'm not gonna write you to stay If your heart is nowhere in it I don't want it for a minute Babe, I'll walk the seven seas When I believe that there's a reason To write you a love song today, today - Good singers, guys! Yeah, we just finished actually last night on Lilith Fair, and it was the most inspired I've been in a long time. I can't say enough good things about getting the opportunity to collaborate and to just sort of pick the brains of all these amazing women. I have been fans of a lot of them for a long time, but never had the opportunity to meet most of the women that we performed with, and it was amazing. Everyone's so different and so unique from each other, but there was not even the slightest inkling of ego or competition. It was all really, truly about celebrating each other and lifting each other up and I will be taking a lot from that for a long time. It's definitely -- I think I needed that. I needed a little shot in the arm. So if you guys want to help us out on the next one because this next song needs clappers and we don't have enough hands. So it goes like this. Josh, would you mind? It goes like this: one-two, one. One-two, one. One-two, one. One-two, one. My god, they're like in total unison. This is amazing! It's perfect. It's perfect. Don't waste it you guys. And this is the new single. It's called King of Anything. Keep drinking coffee, stare me down across the table While I look outside So many things I'd say if only I were able But I just keep quiet and count the cars that pass by You've got opinions, man We're all entitled to 'em But I never asked So let me thank you for your time And try not to waste any more of mine Get out of here fast I hate to break it to you babe But I'm not drowning There's no one here to save Who cares if you disagree? You are not me Who made you king of anything? So, you dare tell me who to be Who died and made you king of anything? - That was awesome you guys! Whoa... You sound so innocent All full of good intent Swear you know best But you expect me to Jump up on-board with you Ride off into your delusional sunset I'm not the one who's lost With no direction, oh But you'll never see You're so busy making maps With my name on it in all caps You've got the talking down Just not the listening Who cares if you disagree? You are not me Who made you king of anything? So you dare tell me who to be Who died and made you king of anything? All my life I've tried To make everybody happy while I just hurt and hide Waiting for someone to tell me it's my turn to decide Who cares if you disagree? You are not me Who made you king of anything? So you dare tell me who to be Who died and made you king of anything? Who cares if you disagree? You are not me Who made you king of anything? So you dare tell me who to be Who died and made you king of anything? Let me hold your crown, babe - You guys were rad at that! That was amazing! One time... This is the only time this ever happened was we were opening for I think an artist named Mika at the Fillmore in San Francisco and I was playing a song. It's a ballad that I do, the last song on my set, it's called Gravity. This guy in the middle of the room put up a lighter and then whole audience threw up their cellphones and sort of did that waving cellphone, you know, illuminating the night thing, and I remember I stopped the song in the middle because I was so sort of overwhelmed by that gesture. I think fans don't really know like what that means to an artist. It's this really -- I don't know. It's a really beautiful, kind of supportive gesture, and yeah, I still remember that. It's the only time that's ever happened and it made me all emotional on stage, but yeah, I loved that moment. It's just really nice to be back here and to play an intimate show like this, so thank you guys for making time, and thank you Baeble for putting this all together. It's been a really fun night cap on our whole tour so we're heading home today, but I'll leave you with a depressing story about a douche bag. He's not actually a douche bag but he was at that time. Something always brings me back to you It never takes too long. No matter what I say or do I'll still feel you here 'til the moment I'm gone You hold me without touch. You keep me without chains. I never wanted anything so much Than to drown in your love and not feel your rain. Set me free, Leave me be. I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I'm supposed to be. But you're on to me and all over me. Oh, you loved me 'cause I'm fragile When I thought that I was strong. But you touch me for a little while And all my fragile strength is gone. Set me free, Leave me be. I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I'm supposed to be But you're on to me and all over me I live here on my knees As I try to make you see That you're everything I think I need here on the ground But you're neither friend nor foe Though I can't seem to let you go The one thing that I still know is that you're keeping me down You're keeping me down, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah You're on to me, on to me, and all over me Something always brings me back to you It never takes too long - Thanks very much everybody! Thank you so much! - Hey, I'm Sarah Bareilles and you're watching Baebelmusic. com
I am sitting down to write my bio for the third time and I'm trying to think of what to say that you can't find on Wikipedia. There are lots of little facts and tidbits about my life and career that I'm sure can be summed up in a one-sheet, but that's not the kind of thing I feel like I want to be writing.
The Blessed Unrest is my third full-length release, recorded over the last 6 months and mostly written within the past year of my life. Last year was a transformative year for me personally, and I'm currently reeling from and reveling in the new. Among many life changes, I am a brand new resident of New York City. Most of this record was written and recorded here, which I believe has informed its sound in a most profound way. I felt the need to embrace the expansion and energy of the city, both literally and figuratively. That ended up being reflected within my songs as well as the process of recording them. Not only did I want to write about broader themes, I wanted to articulate those with production choices that helped both myself as an artist and the songs stretch.
With the help of my producing partners, John O'Mahony (Metric, Coldplay), and Kurt Uenala (Depeche Mode), I co-produced more than half of this record and I'm very proud of that. In addition to the production here in New York, I was able to work with Mark Endert (Maroon 5, Fiona Apple) and Eric Rosse (Tori Amos, Sara Bareillesthat's me) to complete the record.
While writing for The Blessed Unrest, I found myself to be open to the idea of collaboration for the first time in my life. Other than one song off my first record written with my band mate Javier Dunn, I have always hated co-writing. Back in September of 2012, a friend introduced me to Jack Antonoff from the band fun. and I suddenly realized how easy and inspiring co-writing can be. Our very first session produced the song "Brave" which would then become the lead single off this body of work and a song I am infinitely proud of. That session sparked a string of amazing communions with other wonderful collaborators, and I have ended up with a collection of songs that feel as much like me as anything I've ever done.
This record makes me feel vulnerable and exposed, and it feels right. I am consciously taking risks and feeling myself develop as an artist and a human being. The Blessed Unrest is a reflection of the driving forces that have moved me from one stage of my life to the next, and I am grateful for the divine dissatisfaction that keeps me marching on.