Then I've fallen in love. - Now i have a little pile of albums and eps by Devics in my library, - and, how beautiful, more recently, a couple of EPs and a solo album representing Her solo project: Her debut full lenght Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming, produced by Zac Rae (formerly working with Fiona Apple, My Brightest Diamond) just released, is a good excuse to chat with Sara, currently touring Europe and in Rome next May 1st.
komakino: Hi Sara, - let's start from Your latest releases: Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming, - the album, and The Young Eyes EP before: - eyes everywhere, young and less, - your eyes are amazingly blue, too! - do we have to expect to see You performing live eyeball-headed wearing a cylinder? - just kidding, - but that would be funny! - can You tell me if there's a precise idea or image behind these titles?
Sara Lov: ha!! I like your idea. Maybe this will be my new live show! but yes, there is an idea. It's basically about trying to hold on to idealism after we loose our innocence. It's about finding those moments in life where we see the world once again through our young and more innocent eyes. Coming back to the feeling that the things are new and exciting.
komakino: can You remember among those songs which one came first, and why did You decide to entitle the album after Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming track?
Sara Lov: Well, since this is my first solo record there are some older songs on here too. "why can't I be" (on the ep) was the first song I ever wrote by myself. I wrote it maybe over 10 years ago. "Touched" was the second song and then "Frankie" was the third. The others came just before or while I was recording them. I chose the title from the song only because of the significance of the lyrics to me, not because I thought the song was somehow better.
komakino: The piano version of Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming gave me some disarming sensations i had listening to Devics' My Beautiful Sinking Ship - and Animals (featuring Alex Brown Church / Sea Wolf) brought me back to the vocal duets of The Stars at Saint Andrea - so, being a fan of Devics, i'm absolutely satisfied, and at the same time i can sense the differencies of Your solo writing and enjoying that something new, - a different exquisite taste for melody, more personal reading keys. Among these songs, is there one, that, more than every else, wouldn't be possible to do with Devics?
Sara Lov: These songs would feel strange to me with Devics because it's a totally different animal. I had written some of them while in Devics but they seemed so very different and so elementary that it would have been weird to mix it. But, "New York", "Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming" & "Just Beneath the Chords" I wrote with Dustin so in some way I guess those have a Devics feeling.
komakino: The songs in Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming are all new things, or did You keep some of them closed in a closet since years?
Sara Lov: Most are new. But there are definitely a few that were sleeping for a long time. I was really happy to finally record and realize these songs. I didn't know if that would ever happen. I'm really pleased with how they came out after playing them for so long to myself.
komakino: Did Dustin (O'halloran) like the album? Did he move any criticism?
Sara Lov: Dustin has been so incredibly supportive. He is always telling me how proud of me he is and offering to help. He is a constant source of support and inspiration to me. I didn't hear any criticism, I think he is aware that this is coming from me and he doesn't want to step in or disturb that in any way. He is still very much a part of it though. We co-wrote 3 of the songs and he also came and played on some of the record. I love seeing him and Zac [Rae] work together.
komakino: I enjoyed all of your Covers Series on youtube, - it's cool how You and Zac put magic on everything You're playing. How did the idea pop up? I mean, there's Radiohead and Amanda Palmer (from The Dresden Dolls) doing something similar.. but not exactly in these terms: - in the first case is like a reality show in their rehearsals room, and about ms Palmer's karaoke verité, she's a crazy talented singer doing funny karaoke with headphones.. while You're searching a sort of meeting point with your audience.
Sara Lov: I got so many positive messages from fans about the cover songs I did on my ep & full length and people starting sending me suggestions. So I thought, why not? I am a huge music fan. The music I love is the most important thing to me. I don't know what I'd do without it so it's really fun to play with that and do my own versions.
komakino: Can You describe the process of Your songwriting? I mean, - do You find Your self automatically singing / whistling something and then your record it somewhere, - is there a kind of rule for you in making new music? do You usually record homemade demos?
Sara Lov: I am still learning how I write on my own. It's a very different thing that with Devics because I am writing by myself. Mostly, the music comes first. The music inspires the melody that I sing and then the words follow. I try to hear what the melody is trying to say and then find the words. But, with the song "fountain" I wrote all the words first. I wrote a lot, maybe 4 pages of words, then I kept the words that felt the most important and then I started singing it. It's the first song I wrote like this, with no instrument. I sang it for Zac & Dustin and they helped me find how to play it on the guitar.
komakino: I read (press kit, internet) that Your lyrics are basically autobiographic - and i sense like both Music and lyrics are deeply melancholic in your songs, where melancholy is - oxymoron - happiness, because of its lucid beauty and strenght, a such so shining beauty that turns Beck's Timebomb lightness in something all-consuming. Don't You ever feel the need to write your 'friday i'm in love' (yes, The Cure)
Sara Lov: Not yet. But maybe someday. I usually write from a place of melancholy. When I am happy I do other things. Maybe one day I will discover this secret of the happy song but only if it feels right for me.
komakino: I read You're coming in italy for a few gigs, - it'll be not Your first time downhere, - You lived close to Bologna for a while, if i'm not wrong, - so, what idea did You get of our country?
Sara Lov: I love it. I was living in Faenza for about 6 years. The first couple years I was there a lot and then after I was living half in Los Angeles & half in Italy. I feel a really strong connection with Italy. I don't exactly know why. Maybe the pizza? haha! Maybe it's because we [Sara and Dustin, ndk] moved there and wrote so much music and met so many wonderful people there. But now, I am only a visitor. A visitor with a great past there.
komakino: Would You be so kind to suggest a book and some (somehow) related Music to our readers as You would do with a friend of yours?
Sara Lov: I recently read "The Road" [by Cormac McCarthy] and I absolutely loved it. Another favorite book is "Geek Love" [by Katherine Dunn]. I am totally obsessed with the new Neko Case "Middle Cyclone". Her lyrics are unbelievably incredible. She is a true poet. And also Ane Brun from Sweden I really love. And the new Grizzly Bear is amazing.
not yet, probably nobody cares, or nobody cared enough to tell something. Also: nobody reads komakino.
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