Following three critically acclaimed solo albums, Sarah Mary Chadwick's Roses Always Die expands on the quiet intensity of her previous work, exploring memory, grief and personal analysis. Her unflinching approach to songwriting introduces complex, often difficult subject matter as vivid as it is understated. An old immobile organ provides the only accompaniment to her voice, giving the album an eerie consistency that perfectly underpins the diverse, open-ended narratives that run through each song.
The second album recorded with Geoffrey O'Connor (Crayon Fields), it has a more organic sound than the wall of synths used on 9 Classic Tracks, with most songs comprised of just one voice and a live '70s Yamaha analogue organ – a huge, heavy, double-tiered beast with built-in percussion beats and pedal bass – recorded on site in the lounge room at Sarah's house in Collingwood, Melbourne.
Unembellished and at times brutally sparse, these songs are whittled down to their surprisingly hooky, heartbreaking, wry, bare-boned essentials. The sentiments are personal and the refrains are huge and ambitious, while Sarah's voice is strong and vulnerable – it croons and croaks and cracks, conjuring grief and memory.
"Sarah Mary Chadwick's new album is a beautiful and insightful collection of songs. Her work achieves a poignancy which is distinct as it is rare." – Henry Rollins