In 2020 I watched six consecutive seasons of the History Channel show Alone. In a house, on a couch, sometimes with a take away meal, I watched trained survivalists filming themselves in complete isolation, trying to stay warm, fed, hydrated, and safe from natural predators. It was hypnotising.
The weeks passed, seasons changed, temperatures dropped, animals migrated, fish disappeared. And ennui opened up like a sinkhole swallowing the earth. The only thing that didn’t change was the loneliness, hunger, and boredom. The shock of facing inward. If you didn’t make peace, you didn’t make it, and you’re on a satellite phone booking the next helicopter out. It was always the same, in Vancouver Island, Mongolia, or the Arctic Circle.
The title of Sarah Mary Chadwick’s seventh album makes mention of this existential state. There’s humour, but there’s also assurance in the phrase “Me and Ennui are friends, Baby.”
Sarah is a skilled surveyor of our stark internal landscapes. She’s confronted the inescapable truth, and is reconciled. Even friends with it. These vivid new songs form the conclusion of a trilogy of albums, that began with The Queen Who Stole The Sky and includes Please Daddy of last year. They’re deeply moving and illuminating piano-led ballads; solo arrangements, with all the strength and wisdom of the world behind them.
Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby by Sarah Mary Chadwick is out Feb 5 via Rice Is Nice.
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