“‘Shitty Town’ is a howling barroom anthem for nihilists and unrepentant fuck-ups”– Pitchfork, track review
“it’s as beautiful and heart-rending as you’d expect from a Sarah Mary Chadwick joint.”– Exclaim!
“The depth of feeling in the song is only made more powerful via Chadwick’s quavering vocal delivery”– Paste
“ …like the missing link between PJ Harvey and Daniel Johnston”– Rolling Stone
Credit: Sian Stacey
New Zealand born, Melbourne-based Sarah Mary Chadwick will release her eighth studio record Messages to God due out September 15 on Kill Rock Stars and executive produced by award winning producer, Tony Espie (oracle to The Avalanches). Announced to acclaim spanning Pitchfork, PASTE, BrooklynVegan, Exclaim! and more, the new collection is composed of broad, brightly coloured spiritual strokes and consists of dramatic retellings of having your heart broken, existing, movement and growth.
New album cut “Looked Just Like Jesus” is released today, delicately textured and full of little synth flickers and tremors. Fiercely personal and delivered with a wink, Chadwick shares, “My Mother thought that my first boyfriend looked like an artist’s rendition of Jesus that she had hanging on her classroom wall at the Catholic school she taught at. Jesus on the wall had blue eyes and sandy coloured collar length floaty hair, and golden skin. I like to indulge in an idea of God. It gives a name to a feeling of being in love with how beautiful the world is.”
Chadwick is a gifted and singular songwriter, uniquely attuned to the minutiae of human emotion, not unlike Phil Eleverum’s work as Mount Eerie and Daniel Johnston’s adventures on tape. A multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Chadwick’s songs are unsparing, brutal, and absolutely lovely. A prolific visual artist alongside her songwriting, Chadwick’s cover art of this record mirrors the slight alteration in tone; whereas previously, self-portraits of herself alone fronted her releases, now she has pictured herself amongst a group around a piano. Still not looking at peace, but surrounded by people, nonetheless.
Messages to God is a beautifully realized record. It’s not happy but it is funny and optimistic. It is melodramatic, self-serving and generous. Sometimes, from way back in the shitty seats of the theater, you’re at your closest to god. That’s what this record is like, finding beauty in everyday occurrences. Because it’s there. You just gotta look really hard sometimes. And as Chadwick provides, “Because every day’s just one more day / trying to write messages to god’’.