Sometimes, all you need is an acoustic guitar and a dream. Sarah Solovay's got both, and she happens to have a rather transcendent voice to boot. This 18 year old New York City singer- songwriter strikes just the right note between organic catchy rock and vibrant pop with each and every song that she pens. That's precisely why Sarah was chosen by fans to open on a stop of John Mayer's "Battle Studies Tour."
Sarah's sound exudes a true vibrancy because it's so personal and tangible. Her lyrical and vocal style have listeners drawing comparisons to Jewel, Pink & (early) Michelle Branch.
Sarah describes the alchemy at the heart of her sound; "My music is a balance between upbeat pop rock and raw, edgy indie. I begin all of my songs with an acoustic guitar, and they eventually evolve into these full productions. I want to ride that fine line between singer-songwriter and mainstream pop girl. There's a little bit of both in me."
She continues, "When people listen to my songs, I want them to know that someone else has gone through what they're going through. Music connects people, and it lets us know we're not alone."
Sarah's music serves as the soundtrack to both popular television and film productions. "Hearts Collide" played over an episode of the hit show, 90210, with Sarah as 90210's featured artist. Other songs have been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT and MTV Shows.
Sarah Solovay - Guitar / Vocals.
"Superhuman" EP - August, 2012
"Gone" EP - January 2009
Single: Flaws and All
Dual Life of Sarah Solovay, Singer-Songwriter
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For Sarah Solovay, a New York City-based singer and songwriter who opened for John Mayer this spring...For Sarah Solovay, a New York City-based singer and songwriter who opened for John Mayer this spring, summers are particularly sweet. Ms. Solovay spends her days recording music and her nights performing on the Lower East Side or working on new music.
And she doesn’t have to worry about physics tests or the pesky paper she needs to write about “King Lear.”
Paradise won’t last long, though. Come September, Ms. Solovay will be back at Brearley, the uber-academic girls’ school on the Upper East Side, figuring out where to apply to college and struggling to carve out time to do what she loves most: write and perform her own music. Ms. Solovay is 17.
Her music, however, sounds older. She composes and sings soulful songs about love and loss, bad breakups and jealous lovers, channeling the raw emotion of adolescence into catchy and thoughtful lyrics. Her voice has the twinges of gentle pop female vocalists like Regina Spektor and, occasionally, the guts of a Christina Aguilera.
Ms. Solovay’s music mostly pops with twinges — and a wardrobe — that point more to indie rock. Her songs all start with acoustic guitar.
This summer, Ms. Solovay has been recording an album, her second, which includes songs like “Superhuman” and “A Little in Love.” The former is about watching an ex-partner whom you are still in love with marry the wrong person.
(Asked if the lyrics were personal, she said: “Oh no! I’ve never dated anyone old enough for that! Sometimes I like to project feelings onto more extravagant circumstances.”)
The latter she described as her happiest song ever — “and it’s not that happy,” she said — about the vulnerability of falling in love.
A few of Ms. Solovay’s songs have received acclaim. “Hearts Collide” was featured on an episode of “90210’’ in 2010 (and included on the soundtrack), and in 2008 she won the New York Songwriters Circle young songwriter award for “Gone,” a song about feeling left behind. She wrote “Flaws and All” about best friends, which the film producer Joe Dante featured in the film “The Hole.”
But Ms. Solovay said her biggest achievement was opening for Mr. Mayer. Fans voted for her on Ourstage.com, and on July 24, 2010, she took the stage in front of 18,000 people in Scranton, Pa.
“It was amazing,” she said, adding that she was “really, really nervous” and that the sweltering heat didn’t help.
Ms. Solovay picked up her first guitar when she was 6 years old. She learned classical music but thought it was awful. She soon got her hands on a rhythm guitar, and by the time she was 9, she had devoted herself to songwriting. Her first song was about the experience of going to the movies with a boy, but being overshadowed by the chaperones.
At 12, Ms. Solovay performed at her first open-mike night, at the Baggot Inn in Greenwich Village. Her mother attends most of her shows; her dad and brother when they can. Of her brother, she said, “I love it when he comes because he knows all of my songs by heart.”
Tall with big brown eyes, long, wavy hair and a collection of clunky silver rings, Ms. Solovay is poised and honest. She doesn’t eat before performing, she doesn’t have a boyfriend, and she can’t stay out late on school nights.
“I have to go to sleep at some reasonable, non-rock-starish hour,” she said, pointing out that her alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m.
Onstage and in interviews, Ms. Solovay combines maturity with refreshingly 17-year-old moments. Her mother recorded her waking up to the news that she would be opening for Mr. Mayer (it’s on YouTube). It was 10:07 a.m., and perhaps because she was tucked in bed, sleeping with the covers under her neck, she looked like a small sleeping child.
When her mother announced, “You are opening for John Mayer,” Ms. Solovay rubbed her eyes, looked confused, squealed and said, “No, I’m not!” and “Stop!”
Her blog entries are bubbly with multiple exclamation points, all caps and smiley faces. When she performs in Brooklyn, she says, she’s embarrassed to admit she lives on the Upper East Side.
Ms. Solovay has talked to at least five major record labels but has yet to sign a deal. “I don’t want to commit to anything I can’t give 100 percent to,” she admits, pointing out that high school is pretty demanding, too. At least two labels offered deals, but she said they were “not major labels, but pretty important,” declining to name them.
There are downsides to being 17 and playing in bars. “The bulk of my friends haven’t seen me play,” she lamented. “I’m a minor.”
When asked how she feels about going back to school, her answer perfectly reflects the dual life of Sarah Solovay. “Part of me will definitely be excited to head back to Brearley, to see my friends, to be a senior,’’ she said. “At the same time, being surrounded by music 24/7 is amazing, and it will be tough to leave that.
“At end of the day, though, I only have one more year of high school,” she added. “I have the rest of my life to write and play music.”
John Mayer Battle Studies Summer Tour Winners Announced
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NEW YORK, NY & CHELMSFORD, MA (JULY 19, 2010) – John Mayer’s 2010 Battle Studies Summer Tour, in par...NEW YORK, NY & CHELMSFORD, MA (JULY 19, 2010) – John Mayer’s 2010 Battle Studies Summer Tour, in partnership with music discovery site OurStage, has announced the first four talented winners of the “Side Stage Warfare” competition, giving rising artists and bands a performance slot on side stages for the seven-time Grammy Award winning singer-guitarist. Singer-songwriter Sarah Solovay will perform on the July 24th date in Scranton, PA; blues-rockers Bronze Radio Return will perform August 6th in Mansfield, MA; folk/rock/pop singer Derren Raser will perform August 13th in Cuyahoga Falls, OH; and pop-rockers The Season will perform August 15th in Noblesville, IN. Another four winners for additional dates will also be announced in the coming weeks.
By using embeddable “vote for me” widgets to invite their fans to support them, these winning artists utilized the OurStage platform to work their way to a top-ranked list, before being ultimately chosen by Mick Management. Meanwhile, fans who voted in the competition have now become eligible to win a pair of tickets to an upcoming Battle Studies Tour date in their area. John Mayer has a history of championing emerging talent via his blog, on his tours and through his non-profit foundation, the Back to You Fund. By providing the opportunity for emerging artists to participate in the “Side Stage Warfare” competitions with OurStage, it is yet another example of his devotion to supporting new music.
Since kicking off in February, the Battle Studies World Tour has repeatedly ranked among the Top Five on Billboard Magazine’s weekly Hot Tour list. This summer, Mayer has earned his tenth Top 5 track with “Half of My Heart,” which is shaping up to become one of his biggest radio hits to date. Rave reviews have followed recent tour dates, with the New York Times stating that “Mr. Mayer is an astonishing blues guitarist, both in his technical gifts and in his ability to make those gifts appear accessible.” RollingStone.com called the show “an impressive display of his sharp guitar playing, appealing sing-alongs and personable wit,” and Philadelphia Inquirer stated that “there's no question that the guy can play guitar. It's not for nothing that such revered ax men as B.B. King and Eric Clapton have given Mayer their imprimatur.”
'90210' soundtrack lineup announced: OK Go, Adele, N.E.R.D., and more
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Like any smart teen show out there these days, The CW’s 90210 — which, by the way, is getting better...Like any smart teen show out there these days, The CW’s 90210 — which, by the way, is getting better and better this season as it deliciously morphs into The AnnaLynne McCord Show — has decided to capitalize on its music choices with a soundtrack, set to hit Oct. 13. And the line-up isn’t half bad: Everyone from Adele (with the Raconteurs) to N.E.R.D. (featuring Santigold) to OK Go (whose song from the soundtrack, “I Want You So Bad,” was in last night’s sext-heavy episode) to JET is contributing.
What’s interesting, though, is that the tracks aren’t just a compilation of songs that have been heard in old episodes of 90210 — they’re actually new songs, all to be featured in the show this season. What a fresh idea from the folks who put this album together! Instead of a bunch of tired junk, the collection features all brand-new and previously unreleased tracks.
Except, of course, the last one, which is the “90210 Main Title (2009 Remix).” Granted, as the title suggests, it has been geniusly re-recorded by LA indie artists, as EW exclusively revealed to you before the show premiered last week. The thing I love about the theme song being the final track is the nostalgia in that placement. (Or, is it a thing for TV themes to always be the final track on soundtracks?) One of my very cassette tapes back in 1992 was the soundtrack to Beverly Hills, 90210, which also featured the original John E. Davis theme as its last track. I was so cool with that song came on! Or, at least, I felt cool. And that album — featuring Color Me Badd, Paula Abdul, Vanessa Williams, and Jody Watley — was my fourth grade jam, hands down.
This compilation, however, seems decidedly more angsty and teen-modern than the old, a reflection of the time. Just look at some of the titles of the songs: “Valium” by Mute Math (is there a drug overdose in the future for Silver or Naomi?); “A Perfect Tourniquet” by Anberlin (are limbs about to be lost — maybe in an upcoming surfing accident?); and “Sunburn” by Owl City (yes, a return to the beach!) are all included. Oh, the possibilities these song title provide for ridiculous fodder about future storylines!
If you want to make up more possible and totally frivolous 90210 storylines based only song titles on the new soundtrack, the full track listing is after the jump…
1. Adele with The Raconteurs, “Many Shades of Black”
2. N.E.R.D. featuring Santigold, “Soldier”
3. JET, “One Hipster One Bullit”
4. Mute Math, “Valium”
5. OK Go, “I Want You So Bad”
6. The All-American Rejects, “Sierra’s Song”
7. Anberlin, “A Perfect Tourniquet”
8. Owl City, “Sunburn”
9. Will Dailey, “You’re So Cold”
10. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, “Love Seat”
11. Parachute, “One Small Step”
12. Sarah Solovay, “Hearts Collide”
13. Darrelle London, “Understood”
14. Stars Crashing Cars, “City Girl”
15. John E. Davis, “90210 Main Title (2009 Remix)”
What do you think, Music Mixers? Will you purchase the new 90210 soundtrack? Do you like the artists? Do you even like the show? What 90210 storylines can you extrapolate from these song titles?
All She Could Be
I Hate Him
You'll Never Know
2 Cover Songs (TBD before the set)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.