"Sarah Elizabeth Foster is?"
The vibrant southern songbird smiles and replies, "Free."
And indeed she is. New York City is now home to Sarah Elizabeth Foster, a 5' 3" striking slice of authenticity. Of melody. Of music for music's sake.
Even in her youth in Houston, Texas, Sarah could spot the diamonds in the rough. Through endless ballet, piano, and singing lessons, love for artists like Dusty Springfield, Nancy Sinatra and The Supremes was slowly growing. What decade was she living in? Who cared?
Case in point: At 13, Sarah hears The Fugees', "Killing Me Softly" on the radio. Loves it. Wants to sing it at a school performance (where she's got the big solo). Finds out the song is a cover. Tracks down the original Roberta Flack version. Had to be that version. Sang it. Killed it.
This passion continues today in Sarah’s new record, Take Me For A Ride (Youthquake Records). Helmed by producer/kindred spirit Frans Mernick, 22, who’s prodigious skill and energy were exactly what Sarah had been searching for to bring her record to life. After a chance meeting at an industry event, Sarah found he understood her vision for Take Me For A Ride. Sarah reveals, “Frans asked if I wanted to update the classic sound I liked or make an album straight out of 1966. I thought we should bring our modern take to things, and suggested we incorporate electronic elements. Not knowing his passion for vintage synthesizers!” Best of both worlds? You bet.
The album starts off with "Go Home Alone," a pulsing, retro-modern tune meant to be “Part 2” of the Supremes’, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” With an unforgettable melody, Sarah's passionate vocals explain how she’s been kept hanging on for way too long. This time she’ll be going home…alone. Sarah then reveals every “good girl’s” desire to go wild in the driven, fast paced, “Take Me For A Ride,” the album’s title track. From here Sarah Elizabeth Foster takes you for a ride, from fantasy back to reality, and then ending with hope in, “Little Love Affair.”
Sarah’s word for herself is free. But a gal with three names deserves three words.
Sarah Elizabeth Foster.
Melodic. Romantic. Fantastic.
Take Me For A Ride (2011)
Gardening from the Ground Up Part 1 (2009)
Local Takes Manhattan
"reminiscent of '60s-inspired pop -- melodic and romantic"
Sarah Elizabeth Foster - Gardening From the Ground Up Part 1
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Never judge a book by the cover. Never judge the content of a CD by the title. I was expecting an al...Never judge a book by the cover. Never judge the content of a CD by the title. I was expecting an album on basic gardening. I was surprised when I opened the package and saw that instead of a how-to CD, it was the debut album of Sarah Elizabeth Foster. This artist began studying music at the age of four. She is a classically trained vocalist who has fulfilled her ultimate dream of being a singer/songwriter in New York City. By persevering through intensive vocal therapy, Foster made a “miraculous recovery” from the diagnosis of a benign, vocal cord polyp.
Gardening from the Ground Up Part 1 is a display of the singer’s vocal range and the songwriter’s poetic lyrics. Foster brings her values and beliefs to this project. All of the CD covers are printed with recycled materials. She donates one percent of album sales to 1% For The Planet, a non-profit organization which donates to environmental charities.
“Wake Up” is the first track on the album. It is a young girl’s conflicting mental conversation. She retreats from life by day and longs for the day come the night. Foster implores us to wake up and start living. “Gardening from the Ground Up” has metaphorical lyrics comparing a romantic relationship to weeding a garden. She loves him and he loves her, but in the process, she has lost herself. The song concludes with “I’m gardening from the ground up, but I can’t pull this weed. It will come back. He will come back.”
“Missing You Now” is a nostalgic love song which is written in the musical style of a waltz. “Be My Friend Always” is the only track that, according to the artist’s website, was recorded live in the studio. This is a soulful song of friendship. “Let’s Go Away,” I think speaks to us all. At some point in time, we all just want to escape. The songwriter invites us to join her and leave everything behind.
With just five tracks, this disc features instrumental and vocal variety. I am looking forward to Part 2. This time, I have a good idea what to expect.
REVIEW: Sarah Elizabeth Foster's "Gardening From The Ground Up Part One"
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The fact that she’s being pushed as someone in the vein of Dusty Springfield is an interesting one. ...The fact that she’s being pushed as someone in the vein of Dusty Springfield is an interesting one. I do not hear Springfield’s style or charisma in the voice of Sarah Elizabeth Foster, but what they do share is a passion for the song. Gardening From The Ground Up Part One (Studio Sarah) does show an incredible amount of promise for this singer/songwriter musician.
The five songs on this EP are about the internal struggle for peace, love, harmony, and simply being. In “Missing You Now”, her longing for that special someone is the reason she lives:
And I want to sing this song cause I love you
And I want to read you my words cause they’re for you
And you are the one that I dream, I dream of
And I know I’ll be with you somehow, but I’m missing you now
The mood of the EP is almost a bit humdrum and ordinary until track 4, the elegant “Be My Friend Always”. Here, it seems the love she desires has been found, and there’s a bit of vulnerability and openness in her lyrics that I think everyone can appreciate, it’s rawness is honest and genuine:
wash me like a baby
touch me softly til i sleep
whisper everything you love about me
oh be my friend
oh be my friend always
As you hear her in this song, it gets to the listener immediately and you begin to hear her differently. You begin to hear her for more than just the three humdrum songs, and suddenly that magic begins between listener or artist, or at least that magic in your mind which says “wow, now this is someone whose music I can be comfortable in being overwhelmed with.” The mood of “Be My Friend Always” builds until it just comes to an end. When “Let’s Go Away” (the EP’s final track) comes on, it’s a completely different world. It’s as if you’re hearing the journey, the steps, the walking, the anticipation of two people wanting to hide from the rest of the world to celebrate each other. The lyrics are very basic, no hidden agends, it’s Foster simply saying “let’s go away/let’s take a ride anywhere, let’s go/let’s leave everything behind, everything behind”. It is only then that the soulfulness and courage Springfield was known for comes clear, or at least that one thing that made Springfiend a personal favorite for millions of people. You want to bow down and believe.
I think these two songs could have easily been released as a 7? 45rpm single, the perfect A- side with a complimentary B-side. But by liking these songs a lot, it made me want to re-evaluate the other three tracks. I now had a different perspective on the songs and they started to grow on me. Tracks like “Wake Up” and the title track are just the start of the emotions Foster wants to create, and it takes time to develop the songs towards an overall feeling. It’s not as humdrum as I originally thought, but the pace of the songs are deliberate, reserving all of her energy to make a statement with the last two tracks. I would compare her to the likes of Maria McKee and Sarah McLachlan with a bit of Jewel and Billy Corgan thrown in.
She brings a sense of pop craftsmanship that at times has been sorely lacking in the 00’s, or maybe it hasn’t been used as much What was also a plus is the production, handled by Assaf Spector (who also mixed and engineered the project). As you listen, you feel as if you’re in an intimate club and you’re feeling the music breathe. Respect must also be shown to mastering engineer Adam Ayan, who was able to take this EP and give it a final approval: it’s ready. She’s ready. Begin.
Sarah Elizabeth Foster Loves Gardening From The Ground Up
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Sarah Elizabeth Foster's intriguingly titled EP, Gardening From The Ground Upis a short but sweet re...Sarah Elizabeth Foster's intriguingly titled EP, Gardening From The Ground Upis a short but sweet record that showcases the dynamic voice of this classically trained vocalist, pianist, and ballerina. Far from being a singer songwriter, Foster's voice is more like that of a chanteuse or a torch singer than anything approaching the cliche. Her pipes are solid and the girl can actually sing; thankfully the songs around her allow her demonstrate the talent that she has. While I'm not a fan of the genre that Sarah Elizabeth Foster dwells in, I can certainly appreciate the ability and talent Sarah Elizabeth Foster has.
Sounding something like a cross between Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, and a lounge singer, Sarah Elizabeth Foster gets in touch with her emotions and just lets them flow like a river throughout Gardening From The Ground Up. It's truly an amazing accomplishment when you think that her career almost never got off the ground thanks to a polyp that threatened to take her voice. A story of perseverance in the making, Gardening From The Ground Up is a rich and passionate record that comes from the heart. From the dawning of, "Wake Up," to the closing notes of, "Lets Go Away," Gardening From The Ground Up hints at a star in the making that will enchant just about anyone who loves a vibrant beautiful voice.
EZ EPs VII: Sarah Elizabeth Foster
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Sarah Elizabeth Foster's EP, Gardening From the Ground Up Part 1 from Studio Sarah Records, is the f...Sarah Elizabeth Foster's EP, Gardening From the Ground Up Part 1 from Studio Sarah Records, is the first submission I've received for a 2010 release. Generally around this time, I get a ton of Christmas music offers (which, hey, I will be doing a roundup next week!).
Foster actually has a degree in music, singing French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and, of course English. While this EP is only in English, it does showcase her classically singing abilities. My favorite song is actually the title-track, "Gardening From the Ground Up". There's something about this love song, from rain drops to the up-beat jazzy tempo, that I really like. This is in contrast to the opening song, "Wake Up", for a song that's about waking up, it sounds like "take it easy" evening song.
While people will automatically associate Foster to 60s girl singers, I think her vocal styles, would actually lends itself really well to modern indiepop music. I'm certainly interested in hearing what part two sounds like.
Sarah Elizabeth Foster
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The debut full-length release from Sarah Elizabeth Foster. Gardening From the Ground Up features smo...The debut full-length release from Sarah Elizabeth Foster. Gardening From the Ground Up features smooth, absorbing, highly melodic soft pop featuring stylized arrangements and Foster's wonderfully inviting vocals. This cool little EP includes five cuts. Our favorites are "Wake Up," "Missing You Now," and "Let's Go Away."
Sarah Elizabeth Foster - My Secret Playlist
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Gardening From The Ground Up Part 1 is Houston native Sarah Elizabeth Foster’s first collection of d...Gardening From The Ground Up Part 1 is Houston native Sarah Elizabeth Foster’s first collection of deeply charged tunes. Filled with raw emotion and wistful reflection, her songs are the product of a vision almost stalled when she was challenged to persevere through the intensive vocal therapy necessary to arrive at what her doctors called a “miraculous recovery” when she was diagnosed with a benign, vocal chord polyp. The record is an unusual acoustic blend of 60s inspired pop, fresh folk and classical motifs wrapped around Sarah’s deep vocals and emotionally rich lyrics.
Joni Mitchell / Both Sides Now
The orchestral arrangement of Both Sides Now is so moving, paired with Joni Mitchell’s voice. The intro starts so perfectly and quietly then you immediately grasp her life experience the second you hear her voice. At the 2:40, mark when the horns come in, I always feel my heart swell.
Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake / Act I: 9.Finale
There is nothing more romantic than this melodic theme. Tchaikovsky is a genius and listening to the music can somehow give me the exact same sensation as being whisked into the air and balanced with my arms outstretched like a swan.
Petula Clark / Tout Ce Que Veut Lola (Whatever Lola Wants)
Whatever Lola Wants reins as one of the sexiest songs in existence, and to have it made even sexier in French is just beyond words. Fantastic.
Tim McGraw / Still
‘There’s a place I like to go, where I can hear the cotton grow’. This is the first lyric of the song and it immediately brought on a memory for me that I had totally forgotten about. When I was living in Corpus Christi as a kid, my parents would take my brother and I out to the cotton fields to pick cotton off the side of the road. I loved seeing how the plant grew and then pick the cotton. When I got home, I would sit for hours picking out the seeds. Not only do I love this song because of these memories I have, but the sentiment from the rest of the song is so powerful. No matter how crazy your life is, you can go back to those happy memories by just closing your eyes and being still.
Doris Day / Toyland
Although Christmas is long over, I’m still listening to one of my favorite Christmas songs. Toyland transports you to a magical fantasy-land of comfort, warmth, toys, pajamas, and fun, it just makes me imagine the perfect Christmas morning. Doris Day’s voice is sweet, slow, and sincere. It’s reflective and relaxing, everything Christmas represents to me.
Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa / Baby
I seriously listen to this song on the edge of my seat waiting to hear her sing, ‘baby, baby’. So PERFECT! Maybe it’s the accent, but you just have to listen, I can’t explain it. Okay, maybe I can explain it, it’s like getting a neck massage.
Tété / L’envie et la dédain
I accidentally stumbled upon this song and have been enjoying this artist’s music ever since. It’s current French Pop/Rock/R&B, all the things I love and his voice is great. Really soulful.
The Lonely Island, T-Pain / I’m on a Boat
Guilty pleasure! Disclaimer: There’s a lot of profanity in this song! It reminds me of the Hip-Hop I grew up with, combined with the hilarity of a boat. Who knew boats were so funny? My favorite lyric that I sing around the house all the time is ‘never thought I’d be on a boat’.
Gardening from the Ground Up
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With the immediate intimacy of her sweet, classically trained voice, Foster sounds nearly as depress...With the immediate intimacy of her sweet, classically trained voice, Foster sounds nearly as depressed as A. Camp on the Cardigans’ “Step On Me” or “Nasty Sunny Beam.” Lacking A. Camp's sense of humor and irony, Foster burrows into the misery as if it were an immeasurable pit, and the unrequited or lost love that threw her in were her only friend.
“Wake Up,” which most reminds me of the Cards, is a compelling standout. Apparently love on its way over for dinner is also a problem; on the title song, Foster's lost herself in a relationship but is unable to “pull this weed.” “Missing You Now” offers a more straight-ahead bounce (Carole King and Sheryl Crow can emit deep emotions while making listeners tap their feet and sing along). However radio-friendly that and “Wake Up” may be, it's the simple, startling vulnerability of “Be My Friend Always” that could make Foster a contender for the This Generation's Laura Nyro title. We just need the songwriter to continue to be, as a cheap fortune might say, “unlucky in love,” or to imagine herself so, then swim around in that pretty murk long enough to put together some new strokes. Then I might be impelled to wallow with her in something really splendid, a taste of which is given with “Be My Friend.”
Best Music of 2008 You've Never Heard Of!
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"...you'll also agree that her music is completley amazing. I’m amazed by her range, talent, charac..."...you'll also agree that her music is completley amazing. I’m amazed by her range, talent, character and approach to music. She’s an inspirational woman and it shows in her music. I’m completely smitten with her song Wake Up and has become my favorite song of the year."
Sarah (Creative Commons) Foster Releases a CD under CC
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Sarah Elizabeth Foster is a 26-year old musician from Houston, Texas. She lives in New York today, ...Sarah Elizabeth Foster is a 26-year old musician from Houston, Texas.
She lives in New York today, which totally makes sense, as this is the place to be for any cool musician, composer, writer, artist…
I met her first at the 6th anniversary of Creative Commons, in December 2008. She performed there, as she has just released her first album under CC license. Her debut album, Gardening from the Ground Up Part 1, can be downloaded via her own website.
I talked with Sarah Foster one more time, and what really impressed me is her devotion to music, and to spreading the word about Creative Commons. It is not rare to see a musician who is creative (I’ve blogged about one of them, who I personally know), but it is rare to see a musician who is at the same time creative, charming, smart, and enjoys what he or she’s doing.
Sarah enjoys what she is doing; she enjoys composing, and enjoys just living here life, where great things happen.
But she does something more, or else I wouldn’t have written about her:
She understands how important it is to not only create culture, but share it, allow others to share, and remix, and transform in any form and shape that makes it suitable for individuals. She is the opposite of the cliche, and one of the first musicians to actually be on the cutting edge of technology.
Sarah does it all - she has her own label (Studio Sarah Records), uses green products, donates 1 %R of her album sales (not profit, but sales) to “1 % for the Planet Foundation”, masters her blog, manages profiles in facebook, myspace, twitter, Linkedin, and others.
I like Sarah, and I like her music.
She’s full with positive energy, and that’s rare. She creates music, and I admire people who do that. But she does it in a way, which is beyond explanation, with passion and devotion, which is unique.
People like her make a difference.
I wish her good luck in the coming performances in New York and the surrounding states. Listen to her music, spread the word around, join her fans at Facebook or MySpace.
Sarah uses CC BY-NC-SA as her license; I asked her why, and here’s what she responded:
I thought it made perfect sense to allow people to remix the music non-commercially.
The benefits outweigh the risks [of my music being misused]; artists will make beautiful, interesting, original works from my original work. It fascinates and flatters me when I think of someone wanting to use what I’ve created to create something themselves.
And I hope if the remixers out there want to do something commercial with what they’ve done, they will contact me and we can make that happen. As for attribution, I think that the original artist should be credited, and share-alike will mean the remixes can continue to be remixed.
Nothing more to say, except that we see a bright, and a good young woman, sure of herself, and sure of the good in other artists that live out there. She may face hard times, but the important thing is that she doesn’t seem like someone ready to give up, when confronted with an obstacle.
by Veni Markovski (Worldwide Known Bulgarian Blogger)
Digitalia: Sarah Elizabeth Foster and Creative Commons
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"Whoever said cutting-edge musicians don't come from Houston should meet Sarah Elizabeth Foster. The..."Whoever said cutting-edge musicians don't come from Houston should meet Sarah Elizabeth Foster. The 26-year-old Houston native now lives in New York, owns a record label (Studio Sarah Records), and just released her debut EP, Gardening from the Ground Up Part 1."
Let's Go Away
Little Love Affair
Waiting for Love
Line 'em Up
Gardening from the Ground Up
Missing You Now
Be My Friend Always
Go Home Alone
Take Me For A Ride
There are no upcoming dates at this time.