Sarah Teitel
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Sarah Teitel


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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""A Dizzying Whirlwind of Talent"" -

""Poetry for the Sole"" - Excalibur (York University Paper)

"Songstress taking wing"

Soft-spoken Sarah Teitel has a new confidence with her sophomore CD
By Josh Finkelman
Posted: 2007-11-09

ON THE BEACH: Thornhill singer Sarah Teitel has survived her Mildly Suicidal initial recording as a songwriter -- to find herself now with a new CD that's actually about something.Sarah Teitel is 27 and slight. She speaks in a soft voice that could certainly be a loud whisper; standing behind a microphone and a guitar, it’s a wonder she doesn’t collapse under the weight.

Yet, with the release of her sophomore album, Teitel is proving that her shoulders are more than capable of holding it up.

On The Wing, the Thornhill native’s second full-length effort, features 10 original songs, showcasing her confidence and the abilities she’s cultivated since completing her first CD, Songs for the Mildly Suicidal.

“This (album) deals with the themes of struggle and awakening,” said Teitel in an interview this week. “It is about where I am now but it’s also about how I got here.

“There’s definitely more confidence on this album, my playing is better, my singing is a lot better.”
Teitel taught herself to play the guitar after discovering her love for songwriting at an acting school in North Carolina. She wrote a musical adaptation of the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex for a class, which was well received by her classmates.

Music and songwriting became an enjoyable hobby for Teitel who busied herself, first with acting, then with writing fulltime.

She recorded her first CD on a friend’s bare bones home-recording system — an old Mac computer. That album has sold nearly 500 copies since its release a few years ago.

“That’s when I realized that it felt right, like maybe it’s what I was meant to do,” Teitel said. “The quality of the recording wasn’t the greatest because of the situation, but people really responded to my songs.”

Those fans will be in attendance on Nov. 21 at the hip, Toronto west-end nightspot, the Gladstone Hotel, where Teitel will be holding a launch party for her latest effort.

Teitel’s father, Jay, won’t be in the audience that night. He’ll be front and centre, playing keyboards on stage with his daughter, as he did on the album.

But it did take awhile for her parents to warm up to her rock-star aspirations at first, Teitel said.

“I think it’s always hard for parents when their kid goes into the arts,” Teitel said. “They worry — will my child be able to put a roof over their head and feed themselves.”

Nevertheless her first gig was a family affair — she played a number of her original songs for family and friends at a Hanukkah party at her parents’ home in the Bathurst and Rutherford area.

“It was the first time I felt that my parents were convinced that I should be doing something artistic,” Teitel said. “I think they knew there was something special about what I was doing.”

Teitel spends her days as an associate at the Engine Gallery, an art gallery in the Distillery District, where she deals with fine art.

It’s the perfect gig for her, as it allows her to combine her job with her passion for music.

“Oftentimes I’m playing guitar as I’m dealing art,” Teitel explains. “I think they compliment each other; people get to look at art and hear me play.”

“I’m sort of a singing art dealer.”

With this album, Teitel is starting to feel the grind of being an indie artist. When she travels around the city, she finds that her hands are always full, whether she’s carrying a box of CDs, or promotional poster, or just her guitar on her back.

Teitel saw her first album as an announcement to her friends and family that she was a singer-songwriter. On the Wing, she says, is more of an announcement to the world.

“So, I think the first album was just figuring out that I was a songwriter and this album …” she pauses, smiling for dramatic effect. “… Now it’s about something.” - Vaughn Today


LP: "Stories and Music for the Mildly Suicidal"
Released December of 2005

LP: "On the Wing"
Released November of 2007
singles on currently being aired (CBC, NPR):
-North Star
-Taxi Driver
-Hour of Need



A nationally published writer and poet (Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Saturday Night), Sarah Teitel is quickly establishing herself in the music world as a soulful, honest, fiercely intelligent songwriter and performer. Her lilting voice and deep emotional range communicate the truths -- both hard and beautiful -- of life lived in the modern city. Almost impossible to categorize, Sarah’s music is influenced by a variety of artists from a number of different ages and places; Her sound has been described as “ a cross between Joni Mitchell and Kurt Weil” (Diana Bennett, Toronto Arts Council Foundation President).

Sarah also paints and creates fashions. She has exhibited her art at a number of venues across Toronto, and her line of hand-painted vintage accessories can be found in select boutiques throughout the GTA and in Manhattan. As well, Sarah deals fine art – she is a consultant with the Engine Gallery, one of Toronto’s premiere contemporary art houses.

Recently, Sarah has begun playing muse to other artists. She is the inspiration for a collaborative sculpture and photogram series by Diana Bennett and Ryan Van Der Hout, and is the subject of a collection of drawings by Christopher Hayes.

When not busy with her artistic pursuits, Sarah enjoys red wine, crossword puzzles, and the television program “Wife Swap”, ideally at the same time.