The Silver Lining - 3 Track Single

by Sarah McQuaid

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The Silver Lining is the first single from Walking Into White, the fourth solo CD by Sarah McQuaid, featuring three tracks taken from the album: an upbeat original song, an original guitar instrumental and a cover of Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”.

To record Walking Into White, she travelled from her adopted home in Cornwall, England, to the small town of Cornwall, New York, USA, in order to work with co-producers Jeremy Backofen (Frightened Rabbit, Felice Brothers) and Sarah’s cousin Adam Pierce (Mice Parade, Tom Brosseau, Múm).

Coming from outside the folk world and having never worked with Sarah before, Adam and Jeremy found and nurtured the raw edge and intensity that have always been present in her live performances, while their occasionally unorthodox recording methods (a mini-cassette recorder mounted on a microphone stand, for example) bring out a striking intimacy and immediacy in both her vocals and her guitar sound. Recorded and mixed in just under three weeks, Walking Into White is by far the most personal and emotional album Sarah has made to date.

“I am constantly amazed / By the providential nature / Of the choices that I didn’t think I made,” Sarah sings in the opening lines of the single’s opening track. Coming in at just over two minutes long and fuelled by the driving undercurrent of Adam’s drums and Jeremy’s electric bass, with Gareth Flowers’ soaring trumpet bringing it to a stirring climax, “The Silver Lining” is probably the closest thing to a pop song that Sarah’s ever written. The message it carries is one of hope and optimism: “I don’t mind the sun not shining / I can see the silver lining / Through the rain.” Life is full of surprises, and even the bad ones can turn out to be for the best.

Up next is Sarah’s cover of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, the classic Ewan MacColl love song made famous by Roberta Flack’s unforgettable rendition on the soundtrack of the film “Play Misty For Me” in 1972. In this stripped-down version for solo guitar and voice, Sarah daringly makes the song her own, breathing out MacColl’s beautiful lyrics with such understated gentleness that the closeness is palpable – one could almost call it singing as pillow talk.

The single’s final track is “I Am Grateful For What I Have”, an evocative guitar instrumental composed by Sarah, with Dan Lippel’s classical guitar adding shimmering embellishments and Kivie Cahn-Lipman’s sonorous cello alternating between bowed and pizzicato styles.

Walking Into White is due for release on February 2, 2015 in the UK and Europe, and on August 18, 2015 in North America.

credits

released November 3, 2014

Produced and mixed by Adam Pierce and Jeremy Backofen. Engineered by Jeremy Backofen. Creative direction by Martin Stansbury. Recorded and mixed at Tree Time Studios, Cornwall, NY, USA. Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, New Windsor, NY, USA. Design by Mary Guinan. Photography by Phil Nicholls.

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Sarah McQuaid Penzance, UK

Sarah McQuaid’s voice has been likened to malt whiskey, melted chocolate and “honey poured into wine” (Minor 7th). A captivating performer, she seduces her audience with cheeky banter and stories from the road, as well as with stunning musicianship; in her hands, the guitar becomes much more than merely an accompanying instrument. ... more

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Track Name: The Silver Lining
I am constantly amazed
By the providential nature
Of the choices that I didn’t think I made
Sometimes it’s good to miss the boat
The ship that sails could fail to float
The job that you were after
Was a trap and you’ll be  happier without it

I don’t mind the sun not shining
I can see the silver lining
Through the rain

There’s no method to my madness
And I can’t help feeling sad when
Things don’t turn out quite the way I thought I planned them 
But when I look back on my life
I see things in a different light
And nothing’s ever wasted
Cos one day you might be grateful that you did it

I don’t mind the sun not shining
I can see the silver lining
Through the rain

We’re been through some heavy weather
Running hard and falling far behind
But up ahead the clouds are lifting
And they say the wind is shifting
I believe the wrong things happen
At the right time

I don’t mind the sun not shining
I can see the silver lining
Through the rain