With her debut album Who Am I (2017) praised amongst music lovers and tastemakers alike, Sarah P. returns to celebrate feminine power and her Greek heritage with a transcendent collection of songs known as Maenads. The former frontwoman of Keep Shelly in Athens does not shy away from revisiting the past as she uses music, aided by magnificent, self-directed visuals, to divulge her endless accomplishments: be it her openness about mental health and the creation of her monthly zine EraseRestart aimed to wipe out the stigma that surrounds it, to the lobbying for the protection of artists’ rights as an active member of IAO (International Artist Organisation).
Artist: Sarah P.
Title: Who Am I
Release: December 14, 2018
1. Sappho’s Leap
3. Lotus Eaters
4. Cybele’s Dream
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Downloads: EP Cover | Press Photos
Female followers of the god of the wine, fertility, ritual madness, and theatre, Dionysus and the most significant members of the Thiasus, the god’s retinue.
“This record is the link between my previous work and what’s coming. Free symbolised my rebirth as an artist, Who Am I helped me discover different music paths and Maenads is representing 100% me, both musically and as an individual. I’m not big on classifying my music in genres, because I believe that this process is taking away from the magic of listening. I think that Maenads is way more accessible than my previous work, yet mysterious and uncommon.” (Sarah P.)
Maenads – Track by Track
“The EP’s intro Sappho’s Leap is my first greek song that’s borrowing (in an abstract way) from Greek traditional songs and poetry.
Mneme is a lullaby inspired by more carefree times and a mending broken heart – reminiscing of the past and putting things into perspective.
Lotus Eaters is a song about our societies sleeping on backwards change. It’s also about our constant need to grasp from somewhere “bigger” (a saviour, whether that’s a god or a politician), without realising that all we’ve got is ourselves and each other.
Cybele’s Dream is a very dear song to me; it’s inspired by my heritage, my ancestors. In 1922, all my great-grandparents were forced to leave their homes in Smyrna and come to Greece as refugees. Cybele’s Dream is a song from the perspective of a young girl – how she experienced these changes and how she coped with trauma and hardship. Obviously, this song is a nod to present-day refugees and their stories. It’s very sad to me that instead of learning from our recent history, we tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. This is a recurring theme in my artistic output – “we can’t undo our history, but we can learn from it and shape our future”.
Lastly, there’s Maenads – a fun, disco-inspired song dedicated to my city Athens, its cliques, its colorful nights and its overall unapologetic badassery.”
Maenads has a very specific musical line and art direction. Other than that, all of Sarah P.’s albums belong together and are the pieces of a bigger picture that’s yet to be revealed.
About Sarah P.
Sarah P.’s career in music started in 2010, during her final year in drama school as the lead singer of the successful indie group Keep Shelly in Athens, with whom she extensively toured North America & Europe (incl. festivals like Coachella, Fun Fun Fun, Camden Crawl, The Great Escape, and many more). In 2014, Sarah left the band and moved to Berlin to focus on her solo career.
After collaborations with artists like Mmoths, Sun Glitters, The New Division, and The Bilinda Butchers, her solo debut record Free was released in December 2015. Her ethereal and unwavering evolution has lead to comparisons to artists like Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Björk, Goldfrapp, and iamamiwhoami. Her critically acclaimed solo debut album Who Am I, an ode to the humanly deep need of security and love, was released in 2017, followed by her first anthology in early 2018. Furthermore, Sarah P. is publishing the monthly mental awareness zine EraseRestart and is an active member of IAO (International Artist Organisation).
About the “Lotus Eaters” video
Along the release of the “Lotus Eaters” video, Sarah shares: “For Lotus Eaters, I opted for a mysterious dreamscape where reality and fantasy blend to create a third dimension. Here I explore the themes “witch” and “witchcraft” and how these terms have always been used against emancipated, dynamic women. I was inspired by maenads, the female followers of god Dionysus. For the society, maenads in Ancient Greece were the witches of the later years; a united group of women that’s feared for its beliefs, uniqueness and power. It was tempting to make it look “culty” – a temptation I couldn’t resist. I used symbolisms – the crowns, the natural colors, the peach… of all fruits. Contrasting the Lotus Eaters that I’m singing about – those keen to sleep and forget, my maenads are ready to fight for a better future. They have understood that together we’re stronger and they invite all to join them in their efforts to make our world a better place.”
“Lotus Eaters” is the second part of a visual trilogy where Sarah is exploring the female power and the way it’s viewed by society. On the first video for “Mneme”, Sarah chose the theme of innocence – the way that society expects a young girl/woman to be. In combination with the other two videos, the message is that society can’t and shouldn’t put a woman in a box – they should instead empower her and believe in her for all she can achieve.”
About the “Mneme” video
“Mneme” is a dreamy and romantic lullaby inspired by memories of young love, the old self and more carefree times. It is the first single from the Maenads EP – tales of utopia and sisterhood, taken straight out of a parallel universe where logic is freedom and art.
Along the release of the “Mneme” video, Sarah shares: “I’m incredibly proud to present to you the visuals for Mneme – the first part of a trilogy exploring the female power and the way it’s viewed by the society. Mneme represents the innocence of the yesteryear – an innocence long lost in an effort to grow up fast. The video is inspired by the three original ancient Greek muses – Aoide (the muse of voice and song), Melete (the muse of thought and meditation) and Mneme (the muse of memory). Together they become the inspiration for poetic and musical creation. Filmed under the Athenian sun by George Geranios, it’s featuring Clio Arvaniti (Aoide) and Dora Pantazopoulou (Melete).”
Musically speaking, “Mneme” is one of Sarah P.’s most romantic and dreamy songs to date. It’s mysteriously abstract and invites the listeners to interpret it however they want. “I encourage you to make it mean something to you and let it soothe you. That’s what it did to me – it helped my old wounds heal and it calmed me down.”
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