Sara Marlowe
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Sara Marlowe

Band Folk Acoustic

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May
01
Sara Marlowe @ May Day Celebration Free Times Cafe

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Apr
28
Sara Marlowe @ National Day of Mourning for injured and deceased workers Oakville library downtown

Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Apr
26
Sara Marlowe @ IWW fundraiser Smiling Buddha

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Socialist, feminist, folk artist - these descriptive nouns often strike fear into the hearts of music-buyers. The image these words paint is one of being preached to by someone who is finding their way onto a disc by virtue of their politics, rather than by their talent. Happily, this is not the case with Toronto's Sara Marlowe. While the aforementioned description fits Marlowe like a glove, sh'e also a great singer-songwriter. The production on 'times like these...' is up to that of any mainstream artist. However, unlike the creators of most consumer pop, she's putting her energy into writing about relevant issues. In these uncertain times, 'times like these...' provides the inspiration not to give into complacency. - Herizons Magazine


I'll be damned if this Toronto-based singer-songwriter Sara Marlowe doesn't steal some of Ani DiFranco and Alanis Morrisette's fan-base! Fans of these two artists will also be easily swayed into buying Marlowe's successful debut release, 'A World to Win', which received good reviews and airplay in Canada and the U.S. Which is not to say, of course, that Marlowe stands in the shadow of these two giants. In fact, I think she deserves a following of her own. 'Times Like These …' is a fantastic album, and an eclectic one, thanks for the Latin-jazz drumming of Daniel Holowachuk, funky basslines of jazz-fusion composer Steve Sherman, top tabla-rhythms of Lowell Lybarger, smooth piano notes of Dave Olson, saxophone expertise of Brodie West, and soulful cello-playing of Alex McMaster. Oh, and of course, Marlowe's own mesmerizing and lyrical voice.

Ultimately, 'Times Like These …' is a heartfelt, protest-folk album with a twist, encompassing musical styles from acoustic roots-pop-folk, to world-beat, jazz and funk. The songs range in their material from the War on Iraq to the global phenomenon of the increasing gap between the rich and poor. Certainly Marlowe herself has been an active participant in numerous social justice events including International Women's Day celebrations, anti-globalisation protests and labour rallies. Toronto certainly cannot get enough of her, and Marlowe works hard, playing at bars and clubs around town, both as a solo performer and with her band.

This is definitely an album worth buying. And not just for the excellent links in the CD sleeve to websites that interrogate global injustice today. - Folkworld


Sent from above are two radical women from Canada. The newest release from Sara Marlowe with Michelle Denis is entitled "Songs from the Struggle for Global Justice" and is produced by Ms. Marlowe and Brian Morley.

This duo hails from Toronto with strong vocals and great play and timing. The fifteen song CD is primarily folk and jazz with some alternative influence that reminds me of Indigo Girls with a mission.
It is evident from this compact disc that Sara M. studied opera; she has a very distinct strong voice. All songs utilize acoustic guitar with underlying percussion with a wide array of additional instruments on various tracks. Sara M. adds a flute on the second track, "Nothing At All", to talk about the growing gap between the rich and poor. "Blood on Your Hands" stands out with a really cool background vocal effect and organ accompaniment that gives the song a spacey and eerie effect. "When Will the Madness End" is a catchy tune about the war against terrorism. The weird thing about this protest song is it's really danceable and, pardon the pun, groovy.

In "Access Denied", Sara M. penned a powerful ode to Kimberly Rogers who died while sentenced to house arrest for welfare fraud according to information contained in the song index. She sings:
"Teacher, teacher, She was only trying to survive
When there's so much wealth and so many struggling to get by
You've got to tell me, who are the ones committing the crime"

The music is very soothing with a powerful message encrypted in the very well written lyrics that revolve mostly around Socialist political themes. Whether this is your political preference or not, this is definitely a CD worth checking out due to the quality and range.
Great for a rainy Sunday with candles.

Live performances can be caught at various demonstrations, political events, festivals, pubs, bars, and clubs in Canada and the United States very soon.
- indie-music.com


Sara Marlowe has been likened to Ani diFranco, Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell. She writes socially aware songs, protesting against war, poverty, hunger and political corruption and -- high and clear -- her voice sings her words to the world.

You can be lulled into skimming the lyrics in favour of the funk/folk/jazz flavour of the music in general, but time and again her vocals pitch into your consciousness with some telling phrase. She prints the words on the cover sleeve, and it is sobering reading -- every word valid, the message, over and over, is anti-war, highlighting the horrors of children enmeshed in battle, dying so young, whether with a gun in their hand or only because they were "born in the wrong place, the wrong time, ... the wrong skin.". Her anti-war message highlights the grinding of the political machinery, which creates its own noise to drown out the protests of the people, highlights the rare beauty of a starlit night where nobody has to hide from bombs and bullets.

Whether your political views coincide or collide with Marlowe's, she presents her arguments lyrically, coherently and intelligently. Her voice is in the same upper register as Joni Mitchell or Kate Bush, and I prefer to hear a more mellow alto tone; however, this is not really music to listen to with half an ear or fill in the background.

Marlowe is in the forefront of protest, and though her voice is undoubtedly heard more in North America than in Europe, she addresses global issues and should be required listening for any modern studies syllabus. Music's power is not necessarily merely measured by volume. - Rambles: a cultural arts magazine


This CD's sub-title is "Songs from the Struggle for Global Justice" and as you can guess, is political in nature.
These are mainly songs about what is wrong in the world. Could seem a tad depressing, but the music is funky-folk ala Ani DiFranco.
Sara Marlowe sings these songs and plays guitar while Michelle Denis plays Djembe, keyboards, piano and sings backing vocals. And don't forget their bass player, Patrick Chiasson.
Sara's voice is perfect for this medium. She can sound sweet and pissed off at the same time. Her guitar playing suits the genre well too.

From "Blood on Your Hands" which is especially current:

"How can you sit there and look us in the eye You say you're fighting tyranny; well that's the biggest lie You say that I'm no expert, but I know what's right from wrong Never heard of anyone making peace with their bombs"

These songs may want to make you become an activist if you aren't already (and if you agree with their politics). Especially in this new political era.
- Collected Sounds: A Guide to Women in Music


Canadian singer/songwriter Marlowe offers another strong political voice along the vein of folk singer Ani DiFranco, pointed squarely at the warlike, corporate-owned establishment.

She has a wonderful voice you don't find often among independent vocalists - it kind of has a theatrical quality to it. I can picture her perhaps as Cosette in Les Misérables, soft, gently cooing, but with force and power, resting these talents on a bed of jazzy rock, folk, pop, and world music. She is a fine indie rock soldier of change, of which we can certainly never have too many. - Impact Press


If you're mad about Bush winning the election, you have a friend in Sara Marlowe. The delicate-voiced songstress sings of world injustice and damns the war against Iraq on her new cd. "Maybe" doesn't sound like an earnest protest song, but Marlowe I superior to most protest singers and crafts a jazzy, expansive backdrop for her thoughts.

"Not in our Name" is the anti-war in Iraq song and it's very powerful. "The mightiest of the mighty are bombing the ones who don't stand a chance" notes Marlowe. She's creating a musical answer to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

"Not as They Seem" asks that we look beyond the surface of things to a sophisticated setting. "Blind" is an exotic-sounding gorgeous song with another strong lyric.

It's a record to make you think rather then passively receive and as such it's great. - Anna Maria Stjärnell, Luna Kafe.com


I would call this Folk but with more lush instrumentation. She plays guitar but there are also a bevy of other instruments on the recording, including keys, flute, cello and more.

On the surface, it sounds like many other folk recordings, but it is unique. Sara is political, there's no getting around this. I reviewed her previous CD, "World to Win" in 2002 http://www.collectedsounds.com/cdreviews/worldtowin.html I liked it, but then again, she's "preachin' to the choir" with me. If you are a right-winger, this will probably just piss you off, but that's good…as long as you listen! :)

She has a way of expressing her beliefs without being preachy or aggressive (like Ani DiFranco tends to do, I'm afraid Ani scares people off sometimes).

The songs are nice to listen to even if you ignore the lyrics (but please don't).

"Maybe if I just tried a little harder
Maybe if I didn't complain
Maybe if I closed my eyes and blindly played along
Then maybe I could believe there's nothing wrong."

Indeed.
- Collected Sounds: A Guide to Women in Music


Toronto-based Sara Marlowe's sound is very reminiscent of Ani DiFranco and to further the comparison, she writes strong lyrics that compel attention. As she's been playing coffeehouses and large peace rallies across Canada, it's no surprise that her politically oriented songs are her strongest, including "Not in Our Name," "Not as They Seem," and "Trigger Happy." - Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine


Where was Sara Marlowe in the 60s? Perhaps she would have been swallowed up in all the social activism of the day, but she certainly would have fit in. This Canadian singer-songwriter has a brand-new 13-song release that tackles (a good word) all sorts of issues from the environment to government to war. From the words in these tunes, one would get at least a sense this is a woman who wants to stand up and be counted, one who walks the walk and doesn't just well, sing.

...several lines from several tunes will show the conviction and social (in)justice passion/awareness of this woman.

"Not in Our Name" is a good one:

...they're growing fields of golden arches, while the redwoods fall to the ground
And pretty soon the melted Arctic
will be carved into another route for trade

...So many people hungry even though there's enough to eat...

...The mightiest of the mighty
Are bombing the ones who don't stand a chance...
To find the real axis of evil...
Try Downing Street and Wasington DC and take a look in our own backyard.

Ouch. Sara's knife. Doesn't mince words, she slices and dices and then grinds it all into pulp.

Then, there's a contrast -- a stark difference. A sweet song -- or is it? "Only Starlight"

How beautiful is this day, when everything familiar has changed...
No need to take shelter, there's no threat of pain...

How precious is this morning
When the iron wall is gone...
The nightmare is over
I'm finally home.

Even in reverie, there's the hint of pain and struggle -- even if it is past.

Sara Marlowe might not have been around in the 60s, but she is definitely a woman for our times and someone with a real voice with something important to say. - indie-music.com


Discography

LPs

1) A World to Win
- tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15 have been receiving airplay

2) times like these... (2004, World to Win Records)
- tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13 have been receiving airplay

Photos

Bio

Sara Marlowe is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter/activist and has been likened to ani difranco, Alanis Morisette and the 'Good Witch of the West.' From songs about current global issues and oppression, ranging from the current War on Iraq to the environment to the increasing gap between rich and poor, Sara's music has been described as timely, punchy, edgy and compelling attention.

Sara has captivated audiences from intimate coffeehouse gatherings to tens of thousands at Peace Rallies and political demonstrations across Canada. She has raised the roof at numerous social justice events including International Women's Day celebrations, anti-globalization protests, peace concerts, December 6 th vigils, environmental picnics and labour rallies. Throughout, she has shared the stage with other well-known rabble-rousers -- Bruce Cockburn, David Rovics, Chris Brown, Evalyn Parry, Anne Feeney and David Suzuki. She also plays at bars and clubs around Southern Ontario. She is gearing up for a North American tour to support her newest CD, “times like these…”


Sara has recorded two CDs, “ A World to Win: Songs from the Struggle for Global Justice ” and ‘times like these...' They are both protest-folk albums at heart, but with a twist – they encompasses a variety of musical genres, including acoustic roots and pop, with accents of world-beat, jazz and funk. Picked as one of the Top 10 Releases of 2002 by 'Harris Radio' in New York City, A World to Win hit #13 on the Canadian college charts, while times like these… recently hit #6. Her songs have appeared on compilations in Canada, the US and the UK, most notably on ‘Peace Not War' Vol 2, (with ani difranco, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jane's Addiction and others from around the globe) and ‘ One Big No' by ‘Artists Against War,' (with the Barenaked Ladies, Chris Brown & Kate Fenner and other well-known Canadian musicians). This past April, Sara was the Spotlight Artist on the New Songs for Peace website (www.newsongsforpeace.org), a UNESCO endorsed music project that has featured artists such as Chumbawumba and Kitaro. Sara's music can be heard on the radio in Europe, Australia and across North America and her CDs are currently selling on both sides of the Atlantic.


'Times like these...' encompasses a wide range of musical genres, including acoustic roots, protest folk and pop, with accents of world-beat, jazz and funk. To create this eclectic sound, Sara was joined by some prominent Toronto musicians: Latin-jazz drummer Daniel Holowachuk; jazz-fusion composer Steve Sherman on bass; Lowell Lybarger, one of the top Canadian tabla players; Dave Olsen (of "Just Think") on piano; Brodie West, Canadian renowned saxophone player and Alex McMaster on cello.