In January 2011, Sarah Winters made the move from her childhood state of Minnesota to the city of perpetual sunshine, Los Angeles. After moving, she found success playing venues like The Hotel Cafe and Bootleg Bar.
In May of 2012, the true magic of the internet was realized in Sarah’s life. An innocent twitter conversation led to a momentous Skype audition and yet another cross country move, this time to join WHY?, a Cincinnati based pop-inflected psychedelic folk-hop band. Three and a half months, thirteen countries, eighty-one WHY? shows, and twelve solo shows later, a touring musician is born.
The first full-length album from Sarah Winters highlights her signature heartbreaking lyrics and intimate vocals. The album, titled “Smallest Bones”, was released in April 2010 and is an assortment of love songs: falling in love songs, falling out of love songs, being in love songs, and wishing you were no longer in love songs.
Sarah’s voice is one that often catches people off guard. She’s not afraid to use her full range, and there’s a weakness in her voice that lends itself well to the heartbroken lyrics she pens. Sarah is venturesome enough to go to an awkward place vocally, whether it’s holding a note a little too long or using unusual phrasing. The way she displaces syllables is sometimes Tori Amos-like, and she also has a vocal flip like Tori’s, showing a distinct difference between upper and lower registers. On “Smallest Bones”, the vocals are immediate and exposed, having a sound similar to St. Vincent or Rachael Yamagata albums. It’s as if she’s sitting in the same room as you. Every single vowel, consonant, inhale, exhale, and spit movement is heard.
The lyrics Sarah writes are often true stories from relationships past, painfully honest and painfully intimate. Sarah plays the piano in a very deliberate patterned style, similar to Kate Bush or Regina Spektor. This provides the perfect backdrop for lyrics and vocal melodies, which are the focal point of the songs.
To complete Sarah’s sonic vision, Kristopher Schoen adds driving hip hop inspired drums and creative auxiliary percussion and Baylen Wagner supplies a massive range of both bowed and plucked sounds, often crafting cello parts that act as bass, guitar, and backup vocalist all at once.