Sarah Blasko

As Day Follows Night

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For her third album, the eclectic Australian Sarah Blasko took her sound even further than before. Previous records centered somewhat more around the guitar, while As Day Follows Night starts off on a more piano-driven path. The result is a surprising one. Blasko's voice is at once fragile and careful, holding a lot of breathy similarities to contemporary female singer/songwriters (including Feist and Sara Bareilles), while the music incorporates many contemporary touches from the meeting points between electronica and folk. Though there are pieces of tinkling, lilting modernity throughout, there are also massive throwbacks to sounds that, in today's world, are seemingly lost and gone. "All I Want," the first single released from the album, has a slight Western thump mixed with a vocal delivery that's equal parts Shirley Bassey and Portishead's Beth Gibbons. "Bird on a Wire" takes a turn toward jazzier territory. Meanwhile, "Lost & Defeated" uses a hollow-sounding piano with an orchestral backup for a sound that seems to emanate from a historic beer hall as much as it does from a modern studio. Throughout her temporal and stylistic ramblings, Blasko (in combination with veteran Swedish producer Björn Yttling) keeps a steady hand on the rudder, which results in a full album rather than a series of singles. It's a very nice listen, with enough intricacy and musical surprise to enchant a listener into more runs through the material.

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