Finding That Someone
Sarah Lou Richards releases fourth studio album
UW-Eau Claire graduate Sarah Lou Richards is releasing not her first, not her second, not even her third, but her fourth album of spellbinding folk pop tunes. Now based in Nashville, this Wisconsin-born belle infuses pop styling with her Nashville country influences on her latest and greatest album, Someone Who Gets Me, which is out now.
“I wanted to write a convincing story rather than create empty lyrics.” – Sarah Lou Richards, on her new album, Someone Who Gets Me
Because she grew up in Hudson and attended UW-Eau Claire, the Chippewa Valley area is a sentimental place for Richards. For her, returning to her roots is not only important on a familial level, but a communal one as well, as she is bringing her musical talent back home. Richards has enjoyed playing at local venues such as the Acoustic Cafe, the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series in Phoenix Park, the Fire House, and more.
“I’m so lucky to be lined up with a city that has grown so much so quickly,” Richards said. “The music scene there is expanding so much, and it’s cool to say I witnessed Eau Claire in the works of becoming an art-centered destination. Eau Claire is now a destination spot for artists going on tour, doing small performances, doing big performances ... I love it!”
Hometown pride was pouring out of Richard’s mouth. Now, Richards resides in Nashville, Tenn., and has been a part of the vast southern musical community for more than a decade. But Richards is far from a typical country singer. Her stand-out sound is a perfect blend of her Midwestern heritage and classic Nashville folk, creating her sound: Folk Americana.
Someone Who Gets Me is an intimate experience for her, her producer, and her audience. “My producer (Adrian Suarez) really allowed me to get very personal on this album,” Richards explained, “I have stories dedicated to my niece and nephew, ideas which have been rejected before by other labels.”
To top it all off, most of the contributors to Someone Who Gets Me are UWEC grads too. Richards felt a deep connection with this album because it increasingly became an elaborate story about family, friends, and colleagues.
“My producer pushed me to tap into my emotions and put a certain rawness into my music, digging into the layers of my personal experiences.” Richards recounted the difficulty of finding a label to produce her intimate lyrics.
She elaborated, “Many of the labels I encountered weren’t interested in my songs about my family, like ‘Song for Peaches.’ It was too personal for them. They wanted something they could sell on the radio and be relatable to reach a wide audience, which is cool because musicians can make a lot of money that way, but I wanted Someone Who Gets Me to have a different purpose.” She continued, “I wanted to write a convincing story rather than create empty lyrics.”
Someone Who Gets Me is far from the mainstream radio genre. For example, “Jaidyn’s Lullabye” is a song from the perspective of her nephew singing to his sister, Jaidyn.
“He actually sings the introduction of ‘Jaidyn’s Lullabye,’ which is cool on so many levels,” Richards said. “What six-year-old can say they are a rockstar?”
Listeners can tell it is authentically Sarah Lou Richards behind Someone Who Gets Me, but the album’s sincerity is what makes it so unique.
As for the future, Richards admits she wants to continue on this path of “intimate music” as her Midwestern habits kick in again. “I keep working ‘til my hands bleed, so to speak,” Richards said.
To see Sarah Lou Richards live, she’s performing on Nov. 3 at The Oxbow Hotel gallery. To buy tickets or find more information visit thelakely.com/events. Someone Who Gets Me is available now at The Local Store or at sarahlourichards.com.