Originally from the mountainous city of Bergen in Southwest Norway, Sara Wolff made the move to Liverpool, where she found the musicians who helped inspire her songwriting and served to bring it to life. Having previously shared a handful of well-received singles, Sara is set to make her strongest statement to date later this week with the release of her debut EP, When You Left The Room.
Ahead of When You Left The Room’s release, Sara has recently shared the excellent single, Bad Thoughts Compilation, a reflection on the, “never-ending circle”, that can come from cycling through your own thoughts and worrying about what others think of you. Musically, Sara’s sound is a somewhat angular take on alt-folk, bringing to the mind the likes of Cate Le Bon or Cocorosie with her call-and-response way with melodies, both vocal and instrumental, and her gently disorienting take on a more traditionally straight talking genre. While her music journey is only just beginning, Sara Wolff already feels like an intriguing prospect, one I can’t wait to see develop and grow, the results are already looking hugely exciting.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Sara Wolff?
I am a Norwegian songwriter, musician and music producer based in Liverpool. I write a mixture of alternative folk and indie, always with focus on the lyrics and the story. I grew up in Bergen in Norway, and moved to Liverpool in 2016 where I found my band, collaborators and a really inspiring music scene.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Growing up I played the violin and sang in a choir, so I have been performing since I was very young, though always part of a group. When I was 12 I started teaching myself the guitar, and my first solo performance was with my friend at this culture competition for young people. I only started performing regularly when I moved to Liverpool, I find it much more rewarding to play with a full band, being able to bring all the arrangements to life.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I love writing stories and playing music so songwriting was a natural route to go for me – creating a musical world around a story can add so many interesting layers to it. Music is a way for me to process my experiences, thoughts, and sometimes just an outlet for my fascination with building characters. My music production style reflects this I think – I always leave lots of space for my vocals, each element building underneath, supporting the words.
I see my musical project as way of mixing together lots of different art forms. Being an independent artist I get to do a lot of the things I love all at once – drawing, making music, photographing and writing, directing and editing videos. My housemates and I just made a music video for one of the tracks off my EP in our living room with help from a projector and two cameras. Working on a small budget pushes you to learn new things and it’s so much fun.
FTR: What can people expect from the Sara Wolff live show?
I miss performing a lot. As a storyteller it is always so special being able to perform to people in person. The audience is such a big part of a musical project, and sometimes, only releasing things online can feel a bit like shouting into a void. Live performances are intimate and ever-changing – it’s a conversation more than a display.
You can expect a full band, lots more songs, a kalimba, some awkward stage banter and quite a bit of new merch! Oh and some sick riffs! No stage diving though.
FTR: What’s next for Sara Wolff?
My debut EP, When You Left The Room, is out on March 18th and I can’t wait – It’s been in the works since we recorded it in the autumn of 2019. After that I want to gig again as soon as it is safe to do to so, I miss my band and the audience and lukewarm beer!
I’ve been writing a lot of new songs and recording demos during lockdown, so there will also be more music coming soon. I’m excited to show it to you.
They Listen To…
Margaux – Palm
Jed Timms – Safe House
Madeline Kenny – Summer Quarter
Pinegrove – Moment (Amperland, NY)
Henrio – Together