Sarah McGowan is a young musician with a mature perspective for her music. Her inspirations (the Strokes, Amy Winehouse and the Ronettes) have helped her in crafting the diverse musical styles heard on her debut album, For Whom They Sing. The album is co-produced by McGowan and features a collection of songs that reflect a period in her life that was filled with love, loss, traveling, graduating college and becoming an adult. Those these are typical themes for a musician like McGowan, she promises a variety in sounds and lyrics that will not disappoint the listener.
“Each song has a different style–it’s a blend of pop, rock, and folk. I had complete artistic freedom with this project, so I was able to experiment with lots of different sounds and genres. My worst nightmare is creating an album full of songs that are nearly impossible to distinguish from one another. So, my goal with this album was to have every song sound unique and have a little “edge”, whether it is through a quirky lyric or an unusual instrument in the mix.”
McGowan began attending New York University (pursuing a B.A. in Music and Spanish) in 2010 which is also when she made her NYC debut by performing at the Red Lion. In 2013, she lived in Buenos Aires for four months and studied Latin American music, as well as how to play the charango, a South American stringed instrument. South America became a huge inspiration for her music. Returning to the US, McGowan began interning under producer J Chris Griffin at Engine Room Audio and learned music production and engineering. Soon, the pop-inspired music of her teens shifted to an edgier rock/folk style.
Listen to two of McGowan’s new tracks below. “A Good Man” is “about the concept of what a ‘good man’ is and how you could be with someone who everyone thinks is so wonderful, but still not be happy with him. So I’m considering the alternative–finding someone who isn’t necessarily a ‘good guy’, but rather someone who makes me happy.”
“Desperate As You” is “about being in the same room with a girl your guy used to date and feeling that awkward tension. The lyrics are light and pop-y, and I think the old school vibe of the song is a really fun contrast to the content.”