I’ve been getting a few music requests in the last few months and I’ve been trying to think about how to talk about them on this blog. It’s not common to find music which has a genre slant to it (soundtracks are a different beast, after all) or that contains messages influenced by revolutionary science figures like Carl Sagan or Stephen Hawking. “Yellow” is such an influenced work.
Here’s how her publicist describes her work:
Sarah Fimm [is] a dark and ethereal rock-pop composer, artist and singer, whose upcoming studio album, Near Infinite Possibility, will be released in early May. The first single off the album, “Yellow,” is inspired by the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman who journals her descent into psychosis, paranoia, delusion and desperate fear, as the disparity between reality and the events of her mind crumble.
Imagine yourself confined to a bedroom, forbidden to work, hiding journal entries from your husband, so that you can “recuperate” from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression — a slight hysterical tendency,” a diagnosis common to women in the Victorian period. Elements of Gilman’s short story are brought to life in Sarah Fimm’s groundbreaking video.
Employing tropes of horror films, eerie color treatments and quick edits, the video invokes feelings of curiosity and wonder, and at the same time, macabre and unease. The goal was to create a constantly shifting palette of reality to obscure the difference between dreams and waking life, between the conscious and unconscious mind. The dramatic cinematography of the video was inspired by silent film, contemporary art, and design; psychologically, it draws upon the writings of Nietzsche, Carl Jung, Jean Paul Sartre, and Hunter S. Thompson.
Using this visual landscape as her canvas, Sarah’s sound, colored with smooth, melodic rock fused with thick electronic grooves, paints a vivid portrait. A prolific artist who draws influences as varied as Bach, Chopin, Leonard Cohen, Bjork, Tori Amos and Alice In Chains, she has performed at the prestigious NEMO showcase in Boston and independently released seven albums to date, garnering accolades like “one of the most enchanting discoveries of the year,” from Billboard Magazine and “she sings like an angel – seraphim…get it? –and her dark haunting and very lush music calls to mind Sarah McLachlan and Peter Gabriel” by Rolling Stone Magazine, which dubbed her 2004 release, Nexus, one of the top ten albums that year.
The latest album, Near Infinite Possibility, features Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle), Earl Slick (David Bowie), Danny Blume (Jill Sobule), Paul Bushnell (Tracy Chapman), Sara Lee (the B-52’s), Sterling Campbell (Eric Clapton, David Byrne) and more. As a seasoned veteran, Sarah has toured with electronica giants Bauhaus and Delirium, and collaborated with Iggy Pop on a yet to be released cover of a Serge Gainsbourg track. Her songs have received airplay on hundreds of college and commercial radio stations, and been licensed to MTV, Lifetime, and several major motion pictures.
It sounds pretty intense, doesn’t it? I’m hopefully going to get the opportunity to hear the full album, which should be a very interesting experience.
You can find out more about Sarah Fimm’s work at her website.
(Note: the website isn’t currently working for me. I suspect this is just a fluke. If it doesn’t work for you, try again later or search for her on Myspace.)