sarah glynn
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sarah glynn

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The best kept secret in music



Sarah Glynn, a Wellesley graduate, was once deciding between medical school and music. Well, I guess we know what became of that, and who can blame her? "To Sweeten Up" is one of the most original and magnetic albums I've heard from a female solo artist in years. Her music is as unconventional as that of Suzanne Vega but has the pop sensibilities of U2 or The Police, which makes for quite a compelling combination. Listen to songs like "Money Retail Millionaires" or "One Day Older" and take notice of their clever lyrics, catchy choruses and adroit musicianship. Glynn is both a critic's worst nightmare and savior. Someone sign this girl... - American Songwriter


TWO YEARS AGO SARAH GLYNN, fresh out of Wellesley, considered medical school. About a one-hundred and eighty degree flip-flop later, she decided to become a singer/songwriter/musician. I'm really not sure which is the tougher path.
A Bostonian by way of Indiana, she is now part of a unique sound that has been described as "somewhere between U2 and Dido." Her sound is so wonderfully peculiar, that her music has been used on two separate independent film tracks.
Her first CD, "Lucy & the Luck Band" (2000), on which she is responsible for not just the lyrics, but all of the instrumentals, features an unassuming composition with an occasional bass riff. Her more recent album (2004) is called "To Sweeten Up" and is a pop-rock omnibus with unconventional undertones of the violin, banjo, and horned instruments. The lyrics are smart versions of poetry put to harmony and her minimal approach to composition allows each instrument to stand out.
Her website ( has a nice sampling of her tunes. If you are a listen-before-you-buy type, you're well outfitted, but I can almost promise you it's not necessary as long as you're not also one of those anti-female-fronted types. My guess is that Sarah Glynn will soon be filed in your collection between G. Love and Patty Griffin. --Mercer Black - 512 Magazine

"SARAH GLYNN>To Sweeten Up"

Gentle, yet passionate, Sarah Glynn rocks out with her debut, "To Sweeten Up." Sarah's music has appeared in various independent films like "Girl Wrestler" and "Prize Whores," and her band has played with great artists such as Juliana Hatfield and Bob Schneider. Though she shares the stage with Jesse Jack on keyboards and background vocals, Seth Whitney on bass, and Mike Irene on drums, this singer, guitarist, songwriter, and album producer created and laid down each note of the album with her own hand. Some people compare Sarah's sound to Belly and Dido. Imagine a soft, yet raspy voice over easy-on-the-ears college rock. Sarah's voice conveys a wistful longing that assumes conviction when matched with guitars and drums. Add accents of tambourine, and you have a jangle pop groove that will have your head swaying and hips swinging. "To Sweeten Up" appeals to the finicky listener who orders her pop with a side of intellect. --Sally Stafford - Feedback Magazine

"SARAH GLYNN> Lucy & the Luck Band"

An aging hipster doofus is chatting up the temp receptionist, an attractive and retiring young woman named Sarah Glynn. She mentions that she writes songs and fronts a group called Lucy and the Luck Band.
Later that evening, hipster doofus downloads an MP3 of Sarah's song 'All the Dogs,' from lucyandtheluck- He clicks 'play,' and the song is so catchy, the performance so accomplished, he does a 'take,' his eyes bulging and his jaw dropping to his chest.
Glynn, who moved to Austin a couple of years ago, wrote, performed, arranged and produced this debut disc of smart pop songs by herself (with the exception of a bassist on two tracks, there is no 'band,' lucky or otherwise, here). The 24-year-old exhibits such songwriting moxie and confident command of her multi-instrumental talent that her band could be The Next Big Thing, or at least The Next Big Thing After That.
'All the resolution came falling down/We're like two fireworks that never left the ground,' Glynn laments on 'Hey Now,' one of several tracks that might be looping in my head at any given moment. Her songwriting skills are strong; she knows how to use repetition to hook listeners with the familiar, and where to add a vocal bridge or a wah-wah guitar run to throw them a curve.
Her voice expresses a demure vulnerability, dispelled by smart, slightly acidic lyrics. 'I can't believe you,' she sings on 'You Cut,' 'You cut straight just like a knife/And if I trust you/You'll cut me seasoned and sliced.'
There are moments when too-sharp angles in the production sound more cold than clean, and if Glynn had enough confidence to resist multi-tracking her vocals so much, the songs might have more emotional immediacy. Presumably that's not a problem at her live shows, since Lucy and the Luck Band perform as a two guitars/bass/drums outfit. I'll find out soon enough, and I suspect my jaw will get another workout." Inside Line: 416-5700 (1744). -- Rich Malley - Austin American Statesman

"Most Recommended"

Fronted by a mean axe-wielder with a delicate touch named Sarah Glynn, the Luck Band needn’t rely on chance to snare fans with its intricate, dual-guitar web. -- Kate Messer - Austin Chronicle

"Radio Feedback"

It's like Radiohead meets Sam Phillips! -- Jen Garrison (DJ) - KGSR (107.1 FM)

"Customer Review"

Not since Belly’s "Star" have I been so enchanted by a female artist’s entire album. -- Brett Bussell - CD Baby

"SARAH GLYNN>To Sweeten Up"

Smooth fusion of jazz and indie-pop - interesting melodies, introspective lyrics, clever phrasing and syncopation... very cool music. -- online review - Hybrid Magazine

"EDITOR'S PICK: To Sweeten Up"

Sarah Glynn once again proves that Austin, Texas is the place where time after time, great music flourishes. Her vocals are very breathy and smoky, something that’s unusual for a female singer/songwriter. Add to that her moody, emotional soundscapes and intriguing songwriting amid tremendous lyrics and we might be listening to the next Belly. The modern alternative rock world hasn’t seen a great female artist come around in a while and I’m pleased to say that it might be Sarah Glynn who will next make that storied climb up the charts. - Smother.Net

"SARAH GLYNN>To Sweeten Up"

After listening to any number of major label, clone-like, female singer-songwriter releases lately, Sarah Glynn's independently produced To Sweeten Up (S. Glynn (USA), 2004) comes as a breath of immensely welcome fresh air. And 'independent' is the right word--not only has she written, produced, recorded and mixed the album herself, but she plays every instrument on every track (bar passing the drumsticks to Julio Figueroa for three cuts).
Currently resident in Austin, Texas, by way of Richmond, Indiana and Boston, MA, Sarah was classically trained on both piano and violin, though she later took up guitar, and says her heart has always been in popular music. She graduated from Wellesley College and was on the point of going to Med School when she made the sort of decision that is the stuff of parents' worst nightmares. She decided to concentrate on her music. To Sweeten Up is her second album following Lucy And The Luck Band released in 2000.
The opening track, "Don't Say No" grabs the attention immediately with a dramatic electric guitar figure. It's a very powerful piece which goes through a number of phases in its four minutes - a miniature epic in fact. It's breathless in feel, an impression created by combining complex melodic lines to form the harmony behind the sung melody rather than using the usual block chord approach. This is one of the trademarks of the album and you can hear it on other songs such as "You Always You Never" which also features an acoustic guitar track that appears to have arrived unblemished from "Dogs" on Pink Floyd's 1977 album, Animals. "One Day Older" has a guitar break reminiscent of The Cure's Wish period. In fact the more I listen to this album, the more I'm convinced that Sarah must listen to a LOT of British music.
"Should I, Could I" is the commercial highlight of the collection with Sarah's distinctive vocal phrasing, a killer chorus and some lovely stabs in the background of the instrumental passage. The album's title track is the first chance to catch breath, it's in three-time and opens with a gentle melodic verse, though it soon picks up steam, going through a musical metamorphosis which sees it ending up a long way from where it started.
"Money Retail Millionaires" is a Catatonia-like piece that goes on a roller-coaster of rhythmic changes and has some of the strongest lyrics on the album, "What we wants not in the stores / Yet we still shop and we still find." "Full Badge Bar" motors along nicely and "Young Emergency" uses some imaginative vocal harmony. Although the album is melodically strong, one of the oddities is that on a number of songs, "Young Emergency," is an example along with "My Best Friend" and "Riddle To Stay," the choruses are less memorable than the music and verses that surround them. The hooks in these pieces are elsewhere in the song. The album rounds out with another three-time song "Us Girls," and the unexpected instrumental "Cromwell" which hints at even more interesting things to come next time around.
Elsewhere, Sarah's voice has been likened to The Sunday's Harriet Wheeler--a terrific compliment indeed--and certainly there's a British feel to a lot of the music on this album, as well as to her distinctive and individual vocals. There are moments where her singing strongly recalls Louise Wener and Cerys Matthews for example - and although there are also echoes of Kristen Hersh, Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly, Sarah has one of the least obvious American singing voices I've heard from an American in a long time - it's certainly part of what singles her out from the crowd.
This is as original and unconventional female singer-songwriter album as I've come across recently. The songs have a fresh feel and take the listener through such a fascinating labyrinth of rhythmic changes that you find yourself smiling at the sheer audacity and exuberance of it all. And let's face it, there aren't many CDs around these days that put a grin on your face. You can't take your ears off this album for a moment, and no reason why you'd want to. --Jamie Field in Hereford, England - Musical Discoveries (Five Stars)


To Sweeten Up - 2004
Lucy & the Luck Band - 2000

EP Especial - 2003
To Sweeten Up EP - 2003


Feeling a bit camera shy


Just before graduating from Wellesley College, Sarah Glynn drastically altered her post-college plans: she would skip out on Med School and focus entirely on her music. In less than 2 years, Sarah, now 29, moved from Boston to Austin, released 2 CDs (for which she has written, recorded and performed all instruments) and put together a 5-piece live band.

Sarah describes her quirky pop/rock, which is often layered with piano, horn & string arrangements, as "somewhere between Liz Phair & Peter Gabriel -- intricate parts with a strong rhythmic push forward." Despite the many layers in Sarah’s mixes, she takes a minimalist approach to songwriting and production – only adding what she deems the song cannot do without. Her lyrics have been described as “smart and slightly acidic” and her voice has drawn comparisons to Bjork and the Sunday’s Harriet Wheeler.

Compositions of Sarah’s have found their way into independent films, including Girl Wrestler ’04 (PBS), Below the Break '04, Prize Whores ’01, and A Pursuit Race ’97 (directed by co-writer & producer of feature "The War Within"), and onto local and national compilation CD’s (Urban Box Office, Inc. NYC, NMM). She is currently gigging in support of her newly released sophomore effort, To Sweeten Up, which has already garnered favorable press reviews (see below). The CD is currently being promoted to college radio across the US & Canada. The Sarah Glynn Band has shared the stage with Juliana Hatfield, Mason Jennings, the Butchies, Patrice Pike, & Bob Schneider, to name a few, and has showcased at the Dallas New Music Festival, Ladyfest TX, & GirlxGirl Fest.

In addition to her own band, Sarah is also playing lead guitar for Austin-based Echoset.

Background ---

Sarah Elizabeth Glynn was born in 1976 and grew up in Richmond, Indiana, where she spent many years studying piano, violin, and eventually guitar. She began recording her own compositions in the 7th grade with a Tascam 4-track, a pink Series-10 guitar, and a Boss Dr. Rhythm. During high school, Sarah was half of the acoustic duo, Amplified Artist, performing locally and receiving radio play on the local college station, WECI. Sarah was classically trained on the piano and violin, yet her heart was always in popular music. By 1995, she had an opportunity to add electric guitar to a rock band in Amherst, MA. By her senior year in college (’98), Sarah had joined Boston-based Mazer Rackham, adding electric-violin, acoustic guitar, and vocals to the group’s rockabilly mix. The band released a CD and broke up shortly after, spawning Sarah’s decision to move to Austin.