SHE LEFT the big, big vistas of her native Bergen, Norway, and relocated to Liverpool in order to study; found she really liked it by the Mersey, decided to stick around, and soon found that songs were flowing.
It’s been quite the journey from university to rising alt.folk talent for Sara Wolff, whose duvet-day summation of troubles, “Bad Thoughts Compilation”, you can take a spin with below.
“I stuck around because of the kind people, the sea and cheap rent, haha!,” she says of her adopted home.
“It’s so supportive; I’ve found great friends and fellow musicians who inspire me so much and I’m now excited for the whole EP to be heard – each song is different, which I love, and can’t wait to finally let them go into the world on their own.”
Yes, the single is just a taster for her forthcoming debut EP, When You Left The Room. It’s bright and upbeat, Sara’s neat staccato hooks catching you: “You’ve / Been / Talking in your sleep,” she sings; “Three / A / M / With the lights on.” And isn’t that always the time that bad thoughts compile and rattle your brain? Musically, it has pop bounce, some neat guitar, a hugging warmth.
“’Bad Thoughts Compilation’ is a collection of all your feelings on a particularly bad day and reflects on why the solution is there but so difficult to reach,” Sara says.
“Those times you can’t get out of bed, you’re in a rut, sleep too long, don’t eat properly, scroll on your phone too much, cancel plans then feel bad about it, worry your friends won’t like you anymore, then stay in even longer. It’s a never-ending circle.”
And it calls us to maybe stay at home, where its safe and warm. Why not? That’s a damn good idea right now.
“Bad Thoughts Compilation” follows on the heels of her single drop from late last year, the husky, scathing quirk-pop of “You Like Talking About Yourself”, which got the thumbs up from Tom Robinson at 6 Music.
You’ll never find her pulling a lyrical punch, a devotion to lyricism being instilled at an early age, as she reveals: “Growing up I was fascinated by nature and nerdy fantasy books. I was always very intrigued by Bob Dylan’s lyrics, which early on inspired me to create songs inspired by political issues as well as fairy tales.
“It’s always been about the lyrics for me – fitting the right words with the right syllables – like a puzzle – finding ways to describe the indescribable.”
“As humans our emotions can feel so significant and overriding,” she adds, “but these can be broken down to basic feelings – sadness, jealousy, joy, anger. It’s all just a brain response.
“The EP represents me growing up a bit more, finishing my studies, the end of a toxic relationship. Someone out there will relate, so technically when I write songs for myself, I write for others too.”
Sara’s tunes are wry, and are all brought into the world in the bay window of her Toxteth home studio.
“When I write a song, I always have a vision of what each part needs to do – how to support the story in the best way,” she says.
“I’ll record vocals in a duvet castle in my little room, trying to get takes over dogs barking in the garden; I need my own cosy surroundings.”