Sarah Marine. Crafting Musical Narratives: Eclectic, clever, ridiculous

"My mum’s passion for music inspired me to become a musician, so that in itself and all of the gigs we enjoyed together gives me heaps of memories to smile about when I think of her"
15 May 2024

Welcome to an in-depth interview with Sarah Marine, a vibrant artist whose music delves deep into her creative process and emotional depths. In this exclusive discussion, Sarah shares her insights, from the inspiration behind her EP, Hiding in The Sand, to her collaboration with producer Lachlan Carrick and influences like Queen and Joni Mitchell.

Throughout the interview, Sarah’s passion for her craft shines as she discusses the balance between grief and joy in her music and her eclectic musical style. From her oceanic inspiration to her plans for future releases, Sarah’s journey promises new artistic heights and expressions.

In this exploration, Sarah Marine invites us into her world, where music is both a form of expression and a sanctuary, offering a captivating glimpse into the heart and soul of an artist.

I have a Contemporary music Degree and learned production so fortunately I’m able to record, produce and mix all of my music myself, the way I hear it in my mind

Hey Sarah, what are you thinking about at the moment? 

I’m thinking about what to write that I’m thinking about. Also, going to the dunny, I’m busting. 

The title track of your new EP Hiding in the Sand reportedly channels the deep emotions from your mother’s passing. Could you discuss how this event shaped the songwriting and artwork for this track? 

I was experiencing intense anticipatory grief and I wrote the song as a way of acknowledging how painful the process of knowing you’re losing someone is, but also as a reminder to reflect on all of the amazing time shared with that person after they’re gone. My mum’s passion for music inspired me to become a musician, so that in itself and all of the gigs we enjoyed together gives me heaps of memories to smile about when I think of her. I drew the artwork during that time as a black and white abstract expression of how I think cancer is like a venomous snake hiding in the sand, waiting to strike. I’ve recently coloured it in and think the vibrant hues, spikiness and detailed complexity of the lines are a good representation of how I felt at the time. I found it cool that colouring in was part of my work and I got to incorporate my visual art with my sonic art.

Your music video for Hiding in the Sand serves as a tribute to your mother. Can you talk about how you developed the video’s concept and the emotions you wanted to express through its visuals? 

I used a long shot of tripping on river reflections as a backdrop for footage I found on mum’s phone. It has a bunch of gigs, festivals, her When I’m 64 Beatles party, the 2021 flood, us laughing at each other trying to make kookaburra sounds and a bunch of random meaningful things. I wanted to express how much fun we had together, what a colourful life she had and how she was so deeply loved by us. It ends with us improvising to a Bowie song on holiday, then a snippet of the last concert we saw together which was Queen. It pictures a glowing hologram of Freddie Mercury walking on stage with everyone cheering with admiration and I thought it was a cool metaphor for another wonderful person leaving this Earth.

Your EP skilfully mixes themes of grief with more light-hearted, playful elements. How did you manage to strike a balance between commemorating joyful memories and incorporating humour?

 I find polarised emotions are attached to the whole experience of losing a loved one and I think it’s really important to give in and really feel the pain and beauty that comes with it. I used to enjoy making mum laugh by being a bit of a dickhead, and I think I’ve captured that dick-headery well in this EP. These songs made her smile and a gloomy ballad fest would have not felt like an appropriate celebration of such a fun, cool woman.

In just three words, how would you describe your musical style? 

Eclectic, clever, ridiculous.

Given your significant role in the EP’s production, what was your experience like collaborating with Lachlan Carrick, and in what ways did he enhance the project’s sound? 

Yes I have a Contemporary music Degree and learned production so fortunately I’m able to record, produce and mix all of my music myself, the way I hear it in my mind. I programmed beats for the first time on ‘Hiding in the Sand’ because I wanted a really cruisy vibe and I found it very exciting. But also really boring. It’s a lot of fiddling around but so cool creating drums to groove to and I’m keen on getting quicker at it and programming some more tasty beats for future releases.

Mastering is an absolute art in itself so I decided to bring in the big guns for the 2 freshest tracks – Lachlan has worked with the likes of Eminem, Doja Cat, Paul Kelly, Gotye. He was really easy to work with and gave Hiding in the Sand and Beast Regards a lovely clarity and that final sparkle. 

Drawing from influences like Queen and Joni Mitchell, how have these artists influenced your distinctive mix of folk, jazz, and pop styles?

 I fortunately had my mum’s incredible vinyl collection to absorb when I was a kid! I think Bowie’s eclecticism definitely influenced me in that all of my songs have pretty different styles – I get bored if music is a bit samey and I listen to a lot of different genres including jazz so that comes through in my music. His abstract lyrics resonate with me too and I like that it gives the listeners freedom to take their own different meanings from the same words. Singing along to Queen’s harmonies on road trips imprinted creativity and sonic beauty into my mind at a very early age, and Joni’s incredible gift for poeticism made each story and song light up in my mind. What a gift she has!

Choosing the moniker Sarah Marine seems to symbolize your profound bond with both the ocean and music. How do these parallels shape your artistic expression and identity? 

I love the ocean and was sitting on a cliff looking out at it thinking it’d be cool to change my name a bit as I have no real connection to my last name. I was ruminating on the fact that the ocean has so many metaphorical similarities to music – it can be deep, shallow, fun, calming, moving, noisy, imperfect, dark, beautiful the list goes on & Sarah Marine sprung from the waves. It also gives me a large pool of bad water puns to draw from when I want to make a splash. I want to swim with Ocean Ramsay and the tiger sharks in Hawaii, she’s cool and does a lot for marine conservation.

If you were marooned on a desert island, which three albums would you want to have with you? 

Queen’s ‘A Night at the Opera’, Bowie’s (can’t decide which one), Jacob Collier’s new one or one of Rufus Wainwright’s, Joni Mitchell’s Shadowns & Light, Ella Fitzgerald, Madison Cunningham. I failed the question and can’t actually choose 3, there’s heaps more I’d want to take too, provided there was a way to play them. Otherwise, I’d probably just end up grabbing 2 coconut halves and clopping around like a crazy horse.

What do you have planned for the upcoming months?

I’m still promoting this release, gearing up for some upcoming shows and working on my next release – I’ve had an album in the pipeline for quite some time and I’d love to polish it off and send it out into the world and start catching up on releasing all of the other songs I have written too. So many songs, so little time!