Ok, our Bareilles Blitz has been pretty relentless of late...but that's only because we don't want The Blessed Unrest
, her newest collection of sentimental, heart-string plucking, piano pop, to slip through the cracks. We've gathered our own thoughts on the album
, showcased lovable performance held in a cabaret club
, but we're going to let Sara take it from here. Our opinion is absolutely
essential of course, but it's Bareilles who can offer the most interesting insight into her music. So we recently caught up with her, taking over a swanky, private gallery at Christie's in midtown for a few hours. Flanked by a wall of Warhols, the gallery was a fitting setting to discuss Sara's art, her inspirations and responsibilities, some dramatic life changes, and how she continues to push herself and grow, both in her career and in life in general.
here at Christy's' Auction House in front of a wall of Warhalls.
This is amazing.
And you're watching Baeble Music.
I was really excited about the prospect of working with Sleep No More.
I had gone as a patron twice prior to that night and then this opportunity came up and I was like, "Big, fat yes.
I want it.
Whatever they'll let me do I wanna do it.
" I think it's one of the things that I find so inspiring about New York is that you see art like that.
It's so innovative and it's so imaginative and these incredible artists are so committed and dedicated to their roles creating this overarching experience that you take away from this place.
It's strange and it's scary and it's sensual.
It's a really complex experience.
I don't wanna give away too much incase people get the one on one.
But that night was amazing I got to have this really cool theatrical experience.
I feel very challenged.
I'm not naturally an actor so it was nice to be guided in that way and then get to play.
We had a very short performance downstairs in the lounge and it was so cool.
It just felt like everyone was excited from the show.
We had to switch gears a little bit because there's such a specific aesthetic to what happens there.
We had to kind of take a left turn but it was really fun and I had a great time.
You can have Manhattan I know it's for the best I'll gather up the avenues And leave them on your doorstep And I'll tip toe away So you won't have to say You heard me leave This city feels like my soulmate right now.
This city has totally informed sonically what happened on the record and also from a subject matter.
I came for a vacation in September last year and I found myself at the end of the month I just didn't want to go home.
So I didn't.
I came back in January and moved my stuff and I still have a place in L.
and I still love L.
but right now New York is definitely the place I wanna be.
I think I hear New York in this new album.
Definitely from a song writing prospective, songs like Manhattan and Chasing the Sun there's direct references to things and places here.
But I think from a sonic stand point I think I was really kind of energized by the flow the city, the energy that is rushing through this place at any given time, the amount of people that you come into contact with on a daily basis.
I felt very expansive here and so I think that translated in a way, first of all, being open to collaboration and allowing more people to be apart of my creative process.
In addition to that, also having tons of programming.
The production on this record kind of spans a wide range for me.
Some of it's very experimental and more electronic sounding.
Some of it's very experimental and more electronic sounding.
Some of it's very bare bones and very raw.
I think this city made me feel like there was room for everything.
So I think it helped me sort of pull it all together.
Let the bough break, let it come down crashing Let the sun fade out to a dark sky I can't say I'd even notice it was absent Cause I could live by the light in your eyes - The new album is called The Blessed Unrest.
I took that name from a quote from Martha Graham.
It's a very famous quote of hers.
Basically she's talking about artistry and how it's our job as artists to keep the channel open and let our work come through us and what happens when we create something or are dissatisfied with it.
We have to trust that it's coming from a divine place because we're being pulled forward into our next piece of art.
I sort of loved that because I was struggling last year with feeling very stagnant and kind of just restless in my life.
I think her quote gave me comfort and it allowed me to kind of imagine that there was this divine rope being thrown to me that I was supposed to follow and head towards something else.
I think my restlessness is very well documented on this record.
I'm not someone who holds back very much.
I'm very comfortable being vulnerable within my songs and my life story's in these songs.
Everything from the dissolution of a relationship, to really just feeling like I was looking at my life and feeling like I needed to make some really strong changes from an environmental standpoint.
Now I'm here in New York.
Also, just as a soul on Earth, looking at my life and wanting to feel different.
I choose you Yeah I will become yours and you will become mine I choose you - I think the payoff of big changes... You don't know what they are going to look like.
Honestly it's kind of encapsulated in the song Brave for me.
It's not really about the outcome so much, as it's about nurturing and creating a dynamic within yourself where you feel comfortable in making strong choices and having an opinion about what do you want your life to look like and how can you work towards that goal.
I don't really know what this is going to shake out to be.
It's still unfolding, but I do feel a sense of gratitude and humility in just sort of watching these changes happening and sort of knowing I'm going to be okay.
Honestly I wanna see you be brave With what you want to say And let the words fall out Honestly I wanna see you be brave I just wanna see you I just wanna see you I just wanna see you I wanna see you be brave - I wrote Brave with my friend Jack Antonoff from the band Fun.
At that time, it was really important for me to kind of channel a lot of what I was seeing around me.
One of my very close friends was struggling with coming out at that time and I was watching other handfuls of friends being confronted with really big changes in their lives and I felt like the message I wanted to send out to all of them was that I wanted to just see them be brave enough to make bold choices.
Jack is also a really amazing activist and advocate for the Gay Rights Movement.
So he and I spoke a lot about that.
I'm also incredibly impassioned about that, so it felt like the perfect fit.
I was like, "Yeah of course I wanna talk about this.
" This is what's important to me and my life right now.
It's very important to him and I think as two artists coming together it just felt like we wanted to talk about something bigger than ourselves.
I'm most excited about preparing for the fall tour.
I think, for me, so much work goes into releasing the record and then I'm so happy to let people get familiar with the new music.
But really, for me, the sweet spot is getting back on stage and getting to connect with fans via the new music.
So they get to see how we articulate that live and they get to experience.
It's one thing to record the song, its another thing to figure out how to do it live.
I hope that my fans find some sense of solace in this record.
I hope it gives them something they need at any given point.
I hope somebody wants to feel joyful, they can find that in the record and I'm hope if someone needs to be wrapped up in their sorrow; they can do that there too.
I think that this was a really emotional record for me and a really emotional journey and I wanted to share that kind of unabashedly.
I hope that they feel like I love them.
I wanna see you be brave Thanks.
Hey, this is Sara Bareilles and you're watching Baeble Music.
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.