Fumbling Towards Perfection

by Lisa McAllister

Sarah McLachlan arrived in town with just her guitar and road manager to perform at a 104 KRBE Private Session. She had her hair cut in a shorter rendition of Katie Couric's do and looked very different from her pictures. So much so, that many people did not recognize her when they passed her in the hallways of the Art Institute of Houston. She excused herself to primp for the TV interview she would be giving. After applying a sheer covering of Origins powder and a soft neutral lipcolor she was ready to begin.

Her last album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, was released three years ago and Sarah recently returned to the recording studio to work on her fourth album scheduled to be released sometime in June or July. "I am really overdue for a new album. It's great though because stations are still playing songs from the old album," said McLachlan. "I'm not sure what the temper of the new album will be yet. With Fumbling, it seemed that each song was a result of some recent trauma in my life. The new album is very different. It's turning out to focus on breaking down walls we erect in our lives."

McLachlan's musical style can be traced back to her Irish roots and combines the earthy tones of both Irish and American folk music. She said she works hard to create layers within each song. "There's no single message to each song. Rather, I try to create multiple layers. For example, 'Possession' is a love song on the surface. However, it's dark and foreboding underneath," explained McLachlan. "My goal is to write lyrics that are strong enough to stand alone without the music. Each song in its original form is written with either acoustic guitar or piano accompaniment and then other instruments are added when we get in the studio."

Since coming off the road from an exhasting Fumbling Towards Ecstasy tour, McLachlan has spent a majority of her time in what she calls "domestic bliss." Playing with her black Labrador retriever puppy rex, and her two kittens, a calico named Shayla and a gray named Simba, fills many hours. A love most peoplewould not expect an artist like McLachlan to have is baking. "I love to bake. Currant cake, cheesecake, pies with homemade crusts, scones, anything. It's a kind of therapy. Cooking is great because there;s a set recipe and immediate results. My neighbors love it because I end up giving most of it to them. Otherwise, I'd be huge," McLachlan explained. The rest of her time is spent with her boyfriend and band drummer, Ashwin Sood, whom she describes as her soulmate., There are no wedding bells in the near future, but she said someday they will marry.

Between adopting animals and baking frenzies, McLachlan has a vision of putting together an all women's festival called "Lylith Fair". Already in the works, there are 35 dates scheduled throughout North America. McLachlan has been in contact with artists like Sinead O'Connor, Tori Amos, Lisa Loeb, Sheryl Crow, Emmy Lou Harris, Jewel and Meshell and has received very enthusiastic responses. "It hasn't been out very recently that female artists have been accepted in teh music industry. Even as recently as 10 years ago, the music industry was almost exclusively a 'boys club.' Lylith Fair will be a celebration of women in music." Dates and performers for Lylith Fair will be announced as they are scheduled.

McLachlan played a couple of songs she has in the works for her new album while she was in town this past December for the 104 KRBE Private Session. Her yet-to-be-titled new album will be released this summer.

Thanks to Kathy Nguyen for typing this in. The typos, namely "Emmy Lou Harris" and "Lylith Fair" are the fault of KRBE, not her.
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