CD Review: Dream Country by Sarah Darling

Sarah Darling: Dream Country

Sarah Darling: Dream Country - Credit: Archant


Find yourself a comfortable, warm, dark room, close your eyes, and let the dulcet tones of Sarah Darling wash over your senses like waves on a tropical beach, or perhaps more apposite, the wind through your hair as you drive through the American Midwest?

Part of the new wave of country music, Sarah strives to deliver songs which are both aspirational and escapist, dipping a toe into genres like jazz and contemporary pop when it suits her, but all the while staying true to her Nashville roots.

Although she’s well known stateside for supporting the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood, Sarah hasn’t really made her mark in the UK, a situation she is hoping to change after touring with homegrown talent Ward Thomas last year.

There’s a definite astronomical theme to the songs featured on this album, from the sublime opener Wandering Star, through ballad Halley’s Comet and the insightful Starry Eyes, right up to closer Stargazer, which offers its own message about not being afraid to let go and having the strength to move forward, something the listener might appreciate when reaching the end of this versatile and emotional collection.

But as a long-time Smiths fan, a special nod has to be given to Sarah’s cover of Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, which offers an alternative take on this classic track that actually works, and that surprised me as much as anyone.

Honest, captivating and at times achingly haunting, Sarah Darling could just be this year’s first big breakthrough on the UK country music scene.