Sarah Cathrine is an independent artist who writes, sings, produces, and masters her music (100% all by herself). In 2022 she released her single “If He Wanted to He Would” which went viral on Tik Tok (>143,000 views) and was featured on Spotify’s “Best of Created by Women” editorial playlist. Following that single, she has released her very first album titled “Dear You” on February 3rd, 2023, which tells a story that focuses on the theme of “words unsaid” or messages you’d draft in a letter but never send. One of the key asks around this album is for listeners to listen to the songs in order. The singles released from the album were "Want You More", "If He Wanted to He Would", and "That Night".
Hi Sarah! We would be very interested to hear what went on inside you while you were working on the album. You've faced so many feelings that may have once weighed on you and it would be interesting to know how those feelings have been changed with your music or what you've become aware of while working on your album.
Something that was unique for me with this album vs. my EP was that I wrote the songs mostly in real time of my inspiration, which was such a healing and emotional experience. So a lot of the realizations in the lyrics were actual "aha" moments I experienced while writing them. There's even two songs that are written from third person intentionally, because I had to look at what was happening from an outside point of view before understanding how bad things were, which made me realize how little self worth I have. Writing songs like "When You Drink" and "Come Over" really affected my mental health because sometimes when you say things out loud you realize how pathetic it is, to the point where I feel a bit embarrassed by it. But I truly feel that others can relate, which is why I want to share it even though it's scary. I think it takes a special type of person to really understand, someone who cares and loves so deeply.
It's also have been a little over a year since our last interview, how have you been doing in that time? Do you feel that your sound has changed compared to your EP and if so in which direction?
For the past year I've just been living experiences that were very different for me, which essentially inspired "Dear You". It's probably clear from the album that things didn't work out the way I'd hoped but it was a growing and learning experience. I was probably the happiest and saddest I'd felt in a long time, which is good because I guess that means I'm living. I do feel like my sound has changed from my EP, I had a lot of fun experimenting with different styles for the album and my music production has hopefully improved since then.
Could you tell us something about the concept and inspirations behind the album?
One of my favourite things about "Dear You" is that almost every single song is connected to "That Night", which was the first single from the album. It was truly the inspiration for every track following it and I think it accidentally manifested things for me in my life. There would be no album if it wasn't for "That Night", so that song is really special to me. There's actually several other songs that refer back to "That Night" in the lyrics. I keep saying that I hope people will listen to the album in order because that's how the story unfolds.
What inspired you to name your debut album dear you?
I actually planned for the first half of the album and a few other songs to be put on an album/EP, and it was going to be named after one of those other songs. But then life pivoted and I got inspired to write the entire second half of the album and ended up scrapping all those other songs. When I wrote the song "Dear You" more recently, I instantly knew "I have to release an album now and this is the title track". I felt that it really encompassed the theme where every song has a message I wished I could say to someone (at the time) but never did or will. If someone wouldn't give me closure, I figured I could attain it for myself by writing (and I hope that helps other people).
Which song was the first one you finished and which was the most difficult to write?
The first song I finished was "That Night" and I released it as a single, and I intentionally left the ending as a cliffhanger because I had no idea what would happen next, but I always hoped to put it in an album that would tell the rest of the story. Even though I wrote it really quickly, the most difficult to write was probably "Come Over" but that's because it was so emotionally draining.
Could you tell us the inspiration or the story of one of your songs?
Since we feel that all your songs are very personal, we would like to leave the decision to you! :) "My Headphones Are In" is about listening to a nostalgic song that brings you back to a memory, even if things are so different now. I have a really bad habit of doing this (and it's very unhealthy), but the nostalgic song that I was referring to was "Feels Like" by Gracie Abrams (who is one of my favourite artists ever). This song is special to me because all the other songs earlier in the tracklist dance around the answer of where things stand in the story, but this one is basically like "nope it's over and only lives in reminiscing now". The bridge was also a bit experimental for me in terms of the music style, and I love it when a song just suddenly goes in a different direction.
With whom did you work on the album and do you have a significant core memory of working on the album?
I actually wrote, recorded, produced, and mastered this album entirely on my own, I love to have like 100% ownership since it's so personal to me. One core memory I have working on the album was when I wrote the chorus of "If He Wanted to He Would", I knew it was going to be a special song and was so different than anything I'd ever written, and then it sort of blew up on Tik Tok which was so exciting.
How did you celebrate your debut album?
My best friend is super supportive of my music and she also knows everything in my life that inspired it, so I can't wait for us to talk about it together after she finally hears the entire thing for the first time.
What's your favourite track on the album?
It's hard for me to choose and it changes often, but probably "My Headphones Are In". I just think it's a fun one and the bridge makes me feel some type of way.
What's the best advice you've ever received as an artist?
It's better to release something that isn't "perfect" than to never release it at all. You have to create a cutoff otherwise you can continue producing it and playing around with it forever. And like last time, we would love the know you favorite line on the album! I love this question but it's always so hard to choose! But probably either "there's no one as nice as the guy that you like who just wants to touch you for the first time" or "I can still say that you wanted me" because they both truly encompass how I was feeling at the time. To have such little self worth that you know somebody wanted you for the wrong reasons but you're okay with it because at least they wanted you - it breaks my heart and nobody deserves to feel that way.