Kinsela’s Hotel in Darlinghurst, smack bang on Taylor Square, is no stranger to the weird and wonderful—but when Bec Sandridge strides in to chat with the Star Observer about her debut album Try + Save Me, she still manages to turn heads.
Sandridge has a look.
The singer/songwriter from Wollongong is striking, with her bleached blonde hair over thick black eyebrows. Physically, she’s a melange of fine-boned features and an almost masculine strength.
Her sartorial flair is compelling: reminiscent of Swedish pop superstar, Robyn; New Zealand musician, Ladyhawke; and perhaps a touch of Gaga—all imprinted with her own unique sense of style. Yet the overall impression is of someone who is very much their own, not an imitation of any other artist. And, despite her compelling image, an introvert.
“My name is Bec, when I’m in trouble it’s Rebecca, I’m 28, I identify as a woman and a queer woman,” she says by way of introduction.
“Music is my thing but not my only thing.”
Happily, her main thing—music—is just as striking as her look.
Try + Save Me is an extraordinarily accomplished, polished work for an indie artist’s debut album.
The 11-track song cycle is reminiscent, in parts, of Pink Floyd (yes, really), Siouxsie and the Banshees, Prince and the aforementioned Robyn—but again, imprinted with her own unique stamp.
“On a good day, I feel really proud because I never thought I’d make an album, let alone an album as good as this. Without wanting to sound arrogant, I’’m very happy with how it’s turned out,” she tells the Star.
“If I’m completely honest, I’m not much of an album person, and I think that’s mainly because I’m Millennial. I’ve always been an EP kind of person, so when I think of having written a whole album, I feel really proud.
“But on a more anxious day, I wonder: ‘Is this a proper album? Is it really any good? Where is this all going to lead?’ Mostly, though, I feel excited.”
Musically, Sandridge describes the work as “a mash up between the guitar and the club”.
Lyrically, the album documents that last two years of her life, which Sandridge says is very hard to do in eleven songs.
“I feel like I need 100 songs,” she quips.
“I found it hard to write. I went through a complete classic bad break-up, moved to Melbourne, moved back to Wollongong, got back together with my girlfriend, and it was like a huge jigsaw.”
But now, the album’s in the can, and Sandridge is ready for her first fully-fledged album to fly. Try + Save Me will be supported by a national tour, which kicks off in Brisbane tonight.
Surprisingly for a Millennial, her tour muse is none other than ’80s songstress Cyndi Lauper.
“I saw her two years ago, and she seems to be an artist that is still learning about her instrument, and her voice,” she enthuses.
“And when I saw her in the soundcheck she was EQ-ing her monitors and she was very much in charge of her band. To me, that’s the appeal with people like her.
“That’s how I want to be.”
Try + Save Me, the debut album by Bec Sandridge, is released today: Friday, 4 October.
Her national tour commences tonight at The Foundry, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane and concludes on Friday 8 November at the Wollongong Uni Bar, University of Wollongong. For dates, ticket prices and to purchase tickets, visit www.becsandridge.com.