The winner of four ARIA awards (think Australian Grammy) for her 2004 debut, Aussie singer/songwriter Sarah Blasko brings a provocative angle to her third album As Day Follows Night, a summer 2009 release Down Under which is finally seeing light of day stateside August 10. The project began as Blasko began searching for a fresh approach to her elegant, left-of-center pop songs. Leaving the summery surroundings of Sydney behind, she collaborated with Swedish indie-darling and producer Bjorn Yttling (of Peter, Bjorn and John) in a snowbound Stockholm studio. Blasko arrived nursing an emotional break-up at home, an impetus, perhaps, to embrace Yttling's incrementally eccentric musical stylings.
The result is a distinctive album that expands Blasko's usual comfort range -- guitar, piano, voice basics -- with an array of unexpected sonic flourishes, most notably some brittle, occasionally lockstep percussive backing that give the project a cool, almost icy facade. Fortunately, Blasko's warm, slightly airy vocals balance the more dramatic effects, bringing songs like the reverb-heavy, sweetly moody "Is My Baby Yours" and dramatic, spaghetti-western jangle of "All I Want" a welcome personal stamp. Where some albums might be weighted down by the production accessories, As Day Follows Night maintains a light touch -- the result, no doubt, of a confident artist who welcomes the challenge of creating something decidedly different. Recommended.
Sarah Blasko - "We Won't Run" (from As Day Follows Night)
Sarah Blasko - "Is My Baby Yours?" (from As Day Follows Night)