Sarah Slean

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Sarah Hope Slean (born 21 June 1977) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, visual artist and occasional actress.

Major recordings

Slean was born in Pickering, Ontario, and recorded her first EP Universe (1997) at the age of nineteen. It was followed by Blue Parade in 1998. Night Bugs was her first major label album, co-produced by Slean and Hawksley Workman, and released by WEA in Canada and Atlantic Records in the United States. It was heavily inspired by cabaret music.

On 28 September 2004, Slean released her fourth album, Day One. Here Slean’s piano takes a less important spot for the first time in her career. The focus is more on beats, rhythms and guitar, which is evident in the album’s first single, “Lucky Me“. The up-tempo title track “Day One”, and “Mary”, a song about Slean’s grandmother, were released as the second and third singles.

In October 2006, Slean released a mostly-live album, Orphan Music, which consists of songs recorded live at Toronto’s Harbourfront Theatre and the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Other new tracks featuring Slean and the piano were recorded at DNA Recording Facility in Toronto and Kensaltown Studios in the UK.

On 13 December 2007, Slean’s website underwent a massive overhaul in preparation for her newest studio album, entitled The Baroness. Visitors to the new site were invited to sign up for Slean’s new mailing list, and in doing so would be able to download a demo version of her newest single, “Get Home”. People who pre-ordered the new album from the new website’s store also received a download to the non-album track “Parasol”. The Baroness was released on 11 March 2008. The iTunes version of the album included two additional non-album tracks, “The Rose” and “The Lonely Side of the Moon.” In September 2008, Slean announced her intention to release the non-album tracks from The Baroness as an EP. Both Parasol and Modern Man have been confirmed by Slean in Question and Answer sessions in her official website. On 13 November 2008, the official Sarahslean.com newsletter announced the title for the EP to be The Baroness Redecorates. A full tracklist was also provided.

Slean released her fifth studio album, a double album entitled Land & Sea, on 27 September 2011. As previously with Beauty Lives, a 100 special handcrafted editions were sold of the album. Land & Sea is also Slean’s first record to be released on vinyl.

Other music work

In 2006, she contributed two covers (“Us and Them” and “Comfortably Numb”) to Pink Floyd Redux, a modern 12-track tribute to Pink Floyd.

Another notable cover in Slean’s repertoire is her down-tempo rendition of Our Lady Peace‘s guitar-driven song “Julia”. Our Lady Peace has performed Slean’s “piano” version of their song in their own concerts. Vocalist Raine Maida explained the origins of the piano version: “We’re gonna do a song from our first record now, that was given to us on a cassette tape, a very different version, from a girl named Sarah Slean from Toronto…”

Slean was also featured on the Fox TV network as the pianist in Sunrise, the fictional town where bodies started piling up in Murder in Small Town X, a short-lived reality TV series.

In October 2008, Slean performed at the first annual Canwest Cabaret Festival in Toronto. Slean performed sets of her own music accompanied by bassist Joe Phillips and drummer Mark Mariash, and also contributed to multi-artist “songbook” performances of the songs of Leonard Cohen and Kurt Weill.

In March 2009, Slean took part in the Juno Songwriter’s Circle in Vancouver, alongside fellow songwriters Jim Cuddy, Jacob Hoggard (of Hedley), Doc Walker, Buffy Saint-Marie, Vancouver upstart Ndidi Onukwulu, and Hawksley Workman, who hosted. She played two songs from The Baroness, “Notes from the Underground” and “Looking for Someone”.

In 2009 she took part in an interactive documentary series called City Sonic. The series, which featured 20 Toronto artists, had her talk about performing at the Rivoli while attending the University of Toronto.

On 18 April 2011, Slean chose a song called “New Pair of Eyes” from Land, to be included on the compilation album Songs of Love for Japan. She described the song as an “ode to the shocking wonder of existence”. Songs of Love for Japan was available for only 3 days, with all proceeds going toward relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March 2011.

External links

Artist information provided by WikiMedia

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