That Sarah Blasko’s third album, As Day Follows Night, makes for somewhat heavy listening seems inevitable when you consider the singer wrote most of the songs while ensconced in the world of Shakespearean tragedy.
“I spent most of last year working on the songs for the record at the same time as working on the score for Bell Shakespeare’s Hamlet,” Blasko told Sydney Star Observer.
“Hamlet is one of those plays that encompasses everything about existence, so I’m sure that influenced me when I was writing the album.”
As Day Follows Night continues the Sydney-born singer’s tendency to look offshore for creative inspiration — her debut was recorded in LA, its follow-up in New Zealand, and this latest album in Sweden with Bjorn Yttling of indie trio Peter, Bjorn & John. Are her global recording habits by accident or design?
“A bit of both. You put the feelers out there and see who might be interested in working with you, and see where that takes you. I contacted Bjorn about making the record, and he was keen, so off I went,” she said.
“He wasn’t familiar with my stuff at all, and he wasn’t keen to familiarise himself with my previous albums, which I actually preferred — he was very intent on considering these new songs as a very separate project.”
On the whole, the new record makes for a slow-burning listen, one that takes time to unfold for the listener. Blasko says she prefers it that way.
“I like the fact that it takes a bit of time to get into. Those are the sort of records I end up listening to for longer.”
Early copies of the album also come with a limited-edition bonus disc. Entitled Cinema Blasko, it’s a five-track collection of stripped-back covers of Blasko’s favourite songs from films including Cabaret and Xanadu.
“It was originally going to be all songs from musicals, but then I wanted to do a version of Seems Like Old Times from Annie Hall. I’m a big fan of film musicals in particular — I enjoy stage musicals, but I’m such a big fan of those classic casts that were in The Sound of Music and Cabaret and the like.”
Did she find herself channelling Liza and Olivia in the studio?
“I did a bit. It was so nice to record like that, just me and a piano. It felt like I was at a piano bar. I’ve been to piano bars in New York where you go in and everyone’s standing around the piano singing songs from old musicals — that was the feel I was going for.”
info: As Day Follows Night out now. Sarah Blasko plays the Enmore Theatre on October 9. Details: www.sarahblasko.com