Roll out the red carpet… Brissie bombshell Sahara Beck is set to reign supreme with her glorious new EP, Queen Of Hearts. Lovingly crafted by ARIA Award-nominated producer Tony Buchen (Mansionair, Courtney Barnett, Montaigne), it’s fearless, flamboyant and brimming with seductive art pop, with Sahara’s sensuous voice shining front and centre.
Two years in the making, it stars her previous singles ‘Here We Go Again’, ‘I Haven’t Done a Thing Today’ and ‘Don’t Overthink It’, which has already won over fans, radio stations and streaming services around the country.
Hot on their heels comes two new stunners, ‘Queen Of Hearts’ and ‘21st Century’. All suave synth and heady hooks, the title track sees Sahara spinning heartbreak into hope as she wrestles with love lost and finding herself.
“It’s about falling in love too easily and willing to look like a fool because of it,” she reveals. “But once you have accepted that, you can find power in having so much love to give.”
Over sombre piano and swelling strings, stunning slow burner ‘21st Century’ scans the bigger picture and laments humanity’s apathy and inaction in the face of a climate emergency.
“I wrote it after reading some reports that we had just ten years to start reversing the effects of global warming,” says Sahara. “I instantly thought there’s so much we could all be doing but instead we get too caught up in political distractions and the trivialities of living our lives.”
“Being honest can get me into trouble a lot but I can’t
Every song comes as a compelling confessional, set to a glorious pop pulse. It’s raw and too honest, but self-reflection has never sounded so sweet or entrancing.
“Being honest can get me into trouble a lot but I can’t really be any other way,” reveals Sahara. “Songwriting definitely does help me understand, process and move on from things and thoughts. Like, after I wrote ‘Here We Go Again’, I was able to realise I had to leave the relationship I was in.”
“Power through vulnerability” is a theme that courses through Queen Of Hearts, although Sahara didn’t realise it until the songs sat side by side. Confiding in her craft, she’s found strength in her flaws and wears them proudly.
“It’s raw and too honest, but self-reflection has never sounded so sweet or entrancing…”
“Revealing so much is terrifying, but it’s empowering too,” she says. “’Don’t Overthink It’ is about accepting I dwell on things until they’re not enjoyable, and learning to let go. ‘Queen Of Hearts’ is about falling in love too easily and willing to look like a fool because of it. But once you have accepted that, you find power in having so much love to give.”
It’s an inspiring evolution for the girl who wrote her first song at 12 and has already achieved so much. A natural entertainer, she’s graced the stages of The Falls Music & Arts Festival, Bigsound, Blues Festival Byron Bay and Festival of The Sun, and scored highly sought-after slots supporting esteemed artists like Bishop Briggs, Kim Churchill, Ball Park Music, Ocean Alley and Paul Kelly. Throw in big love from Triple J and community radio nationwide and coveted spots on Spotify and Apple’s new music playlists, and that CV is already looking pretty potent.
The accolades don’t stop there. In the last year, Sahara’s sewn up a swag of them including third place in the illustrious Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition (for ‘Here We Go Again’), first in the Unsigned Find International Songwriting Competition, the 2019 Carol Lloyd Award, and four Qld Music Awards.
It’s a testament to Sahara’s songwriting and vision, and her creative alchemy with studio maestro Tony Buchen. She first worked with the Sydney-raised, Los-Angeles-based producer on ‘‘Here We Go Again’ and was so excited by the results, she couldn’t wait to to return. Armed with a rich assortment of influences (think Santigold, Harry Styles and St Vincent), she hit up his Kingsized Soundlabs studio in March & December 2018 to make beautiful music together.
“I spent two years throwing my heart and soul into these songs and my instinct was that Tony could help me take these songs to a place I’d only been dreaming of,” she says about her studio buddy. “I like how much he pushed me every day – more than anyone had before – and he got me to sing in ways I didn’t know I could.”
The feeling’s mutual, with Tony revealing he’s Sahara’s number one fan. “Working with Sahara is like dealing with an embarrassment of riches,” says Tony. “Not only does she possess one of the most characterful voices to come out of Australia in a very long time, she has such a super sharp view of life and relationships. This EP feels like she’s taken an ambitious dive into new territory that’s going to find her plenty of new fans.”
The queen of hearts has arrived and she’s laying all her cards on the table. Ante up, it’s time to play.