Sarah McArthur is a singer/songwriter and teacher based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has performed at a number of the premier live music venues in Cape Town, including the iconic Barleycorn Music Club, where she won their songwriting competition in 2016, placed in the top ten in 2017 and came second in 2019.
With a deep affection for a clever lyric and a melancholic tune, she writes honest and raw songs that explore the things that we all experience in our relationships and in our lives. Her music is a heartfelt nod to indie acoustic folk and blends delicate guitar work with authentic vocals and tight harmonies.
Sarah is a keen collaborator and has been an active member, since its inception, of the Venus Project, which is a celebration of local female musicians and artists in aid of collecting funds for sustainable sanitary products, working with fellow artists such as Frances Clare, Zen, Alanna Joy, Ruby June and Ann Donald.
She is the keyboardist for the Ruby June band and has supported other artists like Jon Shaban and David Curry in their own solo projects. Sarah McArthur released her debut EP (Under Water) in 2017 which was produced by Wren Hinds at South Sea Records.
Today sees the release of her second EP, titled, “Hard to be Happy” which was produced and mixed by Jon Shaban at STFD Studio.
Sarah McArthur tells us more about her new EP
“The inspiration for the beginnings of this EP came from my own experience as a mother and mother to be – looking to my own mother for inspiration and figuring out who I was before and who I am in this new role. My first EP was recorded in my third trimester of pregnancy with my first daughter and so it’s a little funny that I’ve created this one while pregnant with my second.”
“A song is written for each daughter, while the other tracks speak to the struggles of maintaining a clear identity, as well as what it is to interact with the people who move in and out of one’s life. In collaborating with Jon Shaban, who I have always admired as one of the finest songwriters there is, it was also a joy to co-create two tracks on the album with him.”
Sarah describes the title track, “Hard to be Happy” as a song that came from her own fatalistic view of the world
“How, when things are going well and when life is great, we often immediately imagine the worst that could happen to protect ourselves. This is certainly how my mind works! It is co-written with Jon, who brings his own plucky optimism to resolve the story into one of pushing through uncertainty and not letting fear control your life.”
You can download / stream the Hard To Be Happy EP HERE.
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