Photo by Aoife McGrath
By Ella Bowler
It’s that time of the year again; you’re curating your Sad Girl Summer Playlist. What’s the atmosphere we’re going for? How about synth-y, haunting and summery? Starting with banríon’s “end times,” followed by Patricia Lalor’s “Felt Something Finally” and Sorcha Richardson’s Red Lion—and what else? Sarah Crean’s “Show Me Nuance.”
Noted as “one of Ireland’s most exciting upcoming artists and producers” by Hot Press, Crean is coming to us with her new single, “Show Me Nuance,” swiftly after the release of her debut album Call for Refinement in the summer of 2021.
Influenced by artists such as Men I Trust, Japanese Breakfast, and Mac DeMarco, Crean is hoping to use this single, co-produced by Adam O’Leary, as a launching pad to propel herself further into the indie-pop genre. This is a brisk pivot from her album’s influences, which included Joni Mitchell and Lykke Li.
Call For Refinement is a seven-track album, all of which were released independently through self-funding and recorded from the comfort of her home. Crean says that writing, producing, and releasing Call For Refinement cemented her confidence as an artist, and believes that confidence shows in her new single’s sound. Living somewhere between Lalor and Richardson, “Show Me Nuance” perfectly encapsulates summer sadness: a lightness in the melancholy and a self-perpetuating motion.
The track itself is an almost playful focus on the difficulties of losing all sense when having romantic feelings for someone. The track begins by stating how you would go to ridiculous bounds for them, seeing your love interest through a heavenly but unrealistic lens: “If I saw you blacked out at a crossing / I’d join in any way I could / Is there something in my water / Have I lost my train of thought / I’m sober but your smile it evokes.”
However, as the track progresses and the chorus interjects, the focus shifts to coming to your senses and allowing self control to return.
“I think there are similarities between what I’ve written about in this song and what I’ve written previously, but there’s a much louder and much more refined confidence to this portrayal and I’m really quite fond of it. Even though there’s a level of uncertainty to how one should cope with the back-and-forth discussed in the song, there’s an allowance for patience alongside it. In my previous works, I think there was more of a rush inflicted upon myself to figure things out immediately. With this song, I’m still figuring those aspects out and looking at that process in a much more light-hearted way rather than berating myself for it,” Crean says in a press release.
“I’m genuinely most excited about getting to perform these songs live. Between the album and the new single, I’m beaming everyday at the thought of playing them with a full band,” she adds.
Crean’s debut headline gig takes place on March 30th at The Workman’s Club Cellar, with support from Robbie Stickland. Get your tickets here, and listen to “Show Me Nuance” below.