Words: Lakshmi Krishnan
Artist image: Simon Karis
Sarah Mary Chadwick introduces her seventh full-length LP with an achingly post-satirical, post-grunge lead single and video ‘Every Loser Needs A Mother’. Stripped-back with a darkly confessional pairing of toughened piano refrains and vocals, Chadwick honours her past with a “smirkingly [brutal] self-depreciating” force.
Following a series of upending incidents, Sarah Mary Chadwick emerges from her traumatic past reincarnated and delightfully abrasive as she welcomes her forthcoming album Me & Ennui Are Friends, Baby to the world with gruff lead single ‘Every Loser Needs A Mother’. Upon many re-listens, I feel there is almost a survivalist humour to Chadwick’s potent and blunt, punk-y vocals that feels medicating, mighty and glaringly assured. Under the lacerating rumbles of a grainy piano-led overture, Chadwick professes, “You’re nothing you’re no one to me / Don’t call me with problems / ‘Cause I’ll help and hate myself” – and admittedly it stings! I feel compelled to call this track a slow and lingering burn, as Chadwick is liberated from an unwanted co-dependent relationship and a wreckage of mishaps. That being said, track eventually swells into a broken baroque-like rhythm under her gnarly, hardened lyricism. She continues, “Well I laid out his clothes / And I laughed at his jokes / And I stumbled around in / Heels and no clothes / And I went to his hell / And he kicked me out”, coursing in invigorating pangs and sudden recoils.
The Naarm/Melbourne-based singer-songwriter has also released a music video to accompany the single, boasting an isolated and forlorn “candles blowing in the wind” and “cigarette in hand” quality. Filmed with tangerine-tinted specks of light that circle around Chadwick’s lonesome figure, she plays austerely yet evocatively – her melancholic wail is dirt-gripped with a soft-rock edge. Ennui will officially round up a trilogy of records following the goth-y choral LP The Queen Who Stole The Sky (2019) and the slightly rambunctious Please Daddy (2020). On ‘Every Loser Needs A Mother’, Chadwick explores intimate emotional warfare, tales of dancing ghosts and seething fire that is ready erupt across the upcoming 12-track album, which is slated to drop in February 2021.