Sarah Nixey
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Sarah Nixey


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"NME review - Sing Memory 7/10"

Former Black Box Recorder vocalist Sarah Nixey's solo debut is a record of contrasts, divided as it is into a dancier first half and an introspective second. Part one shimmers with complete confidence, submerging elements of Björk circa 'Debut', some light Ladytron, and early-'80s electro into the frosty calm of Nixey's measured vocal, particularly on the alluring past single 'Strangelove'. Later, 'The Collector' reveals a wave of vulnerability; a song which admits an addiction to a sinister impossible love described. The songs on 'Sing, Memory' are made all the more affecting by the crisp English accent that defined Sarah in her Black Box Recorder days. This unerringly self-assured record proves that she's much better off on her own.

Laura Snapes - the NME

"Album Review - Sing, Memory 8/10"


Sarah Nixey was once of Black Box Recorder, but has of late been pursuing her own career as a slightly more traditional pop-songstress. To this end, she’s been writing/collaborating on songs which, although they still have a wry worldly wisdom to temper the romance, are less likely to contain choruses along the lines of “Life is unfair / Kill yourself or get over it”. She’s released a couple of singles already, and now her debut album, Sing, Memory, is ready for unleashing unto the world.

And you know what? It’s remarkably good. Taking the concept of escapism in pop very literally, it mixes electronic atmospherics, complexity and sophistication, tempered with an ear for a tune and a casual manipulation of the polish and clarity of pop to create a tangible feeling of otherworldliness. Listening to it gives one the sensation of having wandered into the soundscape of a film soundtrack; or into a very adult and cynical, yet still reluctantly romantic, fairytale world. It’s a window into an imaginary country full of unexpected metaphors, weird coincidences and glimpses of bizarre or poignant could-have-beens; a softly-spoken, blurred and trippy dreamworld.

Above the evocative atmospheric subtleties, woven from an instrumental fabric of bleeps, swooshings and dancing cross-rhythms, Nixey’s strong, clear vocals carry the weight of the tune and focus the emotions hinted at by the pop electronics. She has a sweet pop voice, ranging from alluring to heartbreaking to just a little too pure and detached to be anything but unworldly, and it matches these sophisticated electro melodies to perfection.

And I was on the verge of calling these songs catchy – but (with the honourable exception of single ‘Strangelove’) that’s not quite right. What they actually do is haunt you: play on your mind, get under your skin, and itch away at the back of your consciousness nagging you to play them again and to listen a bit more fully. It’s an elusive yet persistent form of compelling listen which may be far from the obvious tactics of the Big Hook, but which is nonetheless hard to resist. Although in my case, that may well be because I don’t want to resist – I’m quite happy to add Sing, Memory to my list of Habit-Formingly Good Pop Albums. - Drowned in Sound

"Album Review - Sing, Memory"

While Black Box Recorder might’ve been considered the brainchild of Luke Haines they really would’ve been nothing without Sarah Nixey. Her sweetly seductive Queen’s English dialect managed to convey, otherwise uncomfortable songs concerning motorway pile ups and prepubescent sexual fantasy with surprising grace and finesse.

Sing Memory finally introduces us to her own music and although the themes are patently more appetising than those that BBR ever dished out, Nixey’s songs are no less disturbing at times. Her biting lyrical content regarding spurned lovers and weirdo men in general makes a uniquely engaging experience, if an acidic one at times. Musically she’s opted for a brittle electronic accompaniment, it’s electro pop but with a heart as cold as a Baked Alaska.

By way of introduction Sarah’s confessional voice explains that there are ‘two sides to every story” before When I’m Here With You, a smoky and decidedly French flavoured highlight raises the red velvet curtain in considerable style. Sing Memory continues to weave a dark magic via the arpegiating Breathe In, Fade Out and delightfully sombre ballad Love & Exile, along with a suitably gloomy cover of Human League’s The Black Hit Of Space.

As with BBR’s finer work Nixey’s at her best at a more subdued pace. The faster, more dance orientated material inadvertently fall into the camp territory, a style that doesn’t truly compliment Sarah’s uber precise diction. But make no mistake this is a hauntingly sensual selection of ambient pop songs nonetheless. - MSN


The Collector (download single) – Service AV, 2005
1. The Collector
2. Love & Exile

Strangelove (CD/download single) – Service AV, 2006
1. Strangelove
2. The Collector meets Comma
3. The Collector meets Infantjoy
4. The Collector meets Pete Davis

The Collector Meets (download single) – Service AV, 2006
1. The Collector Meets The Freelance Hellraiser
2. The Collector Meets The Image of a Group

Strangelove Remixes (download ep) – Service AV, 2006
1. Strangelove (Lodge Radio Edit)
2. Strangelove (Magus Projection)
3. Strangelove (Pete Davis Refit)
4. Strangelove (Paw Paw Remix)
5. Strangelove (Microfilm Remix)
6. Strangelove (Lodge Remix)

When I’m Here With You (download single) – Service AV, 2007
1. When I’m Here With You
2. Watching Over You

Sing, Memory (CD/download album) – Service AV, 2007
1. Sing
2. When I’m Here With You
3. Beautfiful Oblivion
4. Strangelove (sing version)
5. Hotel Room
6. Nothing On Earth
7. Nightshift
8. Memory
9. Collector
10. Breathe In Fade Out
11. Endless Circles
12. Man I Knew
13. Masquerade
14. Love And Exile
15. Black Hit Of Space
16. Strangelove (demo) - iTunes only

The Black Hit of Space (single) ServiceAV2007
1. The Black Hit of Space
2. Strangelove (slowlove)
3. The Black Hit of Space (The Magus Projection)



Sarah Nixey made her show business entrance as one third of the darkly glamorous pop group Black Box Recorder. She was in the severe, dreamy centre, singing scheming songs that were deadly serious about trivia, and deeply frivolous about important matters, acting out her role as interpreter and enigma with subversive attention to detail.
Before she left this curious, black/light hearted, cerebral pop group, before she got her own series, it must be recorded that Black Box Recorder made an appearance on BBC 1's Top of the Pops that goes down in history as one of those moments when the point of pop, as total surprise, as a transforming invasion of our ordinary waking hours, was absolutely confirmed.
Her second show business entrance sees her singing songs she has written herself, combined with songs by like minded avengers, persuaders and champions that see the world as weirdly, and wonderfully, as she does. Her calm, devastating version of David Sylvian's Ghosts with English electro-hauntologists Infantjoy was a hint of what might happen now she has the stage to herself. Her flash, exotically electric singles The Collector and Strangelove were like manifestos proclaiming that she's as committed to the idea of pop as a dream, a fantasy, as she had been in Black Box Recorder, but this time the surreal edge, the emotional pressure, the deviant intensity is all her own.
She sings smart pop songs. They tell heady, half crazed stories about minds and bodies, flesh and spirit, memories and illusions, desperation and passion. They're theme tunes to far fetched adventures, songs that play over the credit sequences to imaginary Bond films as written by Kafka, Ballard, Nabakov, Atwood. They will be hits, but not obvious hits, not everyday hits. She sings them on her new album Sing, Memory with that tough, tender combination of explicit English detachment and cryptic European emotion that's all her own.