Premiere: Sarah Cripps’ Heavy & Heartfelt “Leave Behind”

Sarah Cripps © 2017

Toronto singer/songwriter Sarah Cripps describes her new single “Leave Behind” as “the perfect introduction of what’s to come, lyrically and sonically.” A slow, forlorn song from a lone soldier at one of life’s many crossroads, “Leave Behind” is heavy and haunting – “It encapsulates the journey that the album takes,” Cripps explains. “From complete chaos to paired down and simple, to melodic and beautifully haunting.”

It’s the music of change; the music of transition. And it’s stunning.

Bury me, bury me where it won’t hurt
My god, you’ve done your worst
And I can’t see, I can’t see where I should turn
My god, I’ll never learn
Goodbye, goodbye
Listen: “Leave Behind” – Sarah Cripps

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Leave Behind,” the lead single off Sarah Cripps’ upcoming self-titled album. The Canadian artist sings delicately, with a forceful croon that enunciates the inflections of her every word – making sure we feel the full brunt of her emotions.

Leave Behind - Sarah Cripps album art

Leave Behind – Sarah Cripps

Only thing I leave behind
is a madness of the mind,
I leave behind
And I did not read the signs,
’cause this world it left me blind,
I leave behind

“During the making of this album, I was going through a turbulent transition in my life,” relates Sarah Cripps. “I was struggling with the perception of who I thought I was supposed to be, and who I truly am. It left me feeling pretty dark at times. It was making this record that helped me decide I would embrace the darkness and the weirdness and I pulled myself out of the perfect box I thought I had to fit into. I found a way to create my own narrative and not subscribe to the one that is often forced on young women. Although ‘Leave Behind’ is a reflection of losing myself and some of my lowest moments, ultimately, it’s the turning point that gave me the guts to just embrace the weirdness.”

“Throughout this time, I used my love for classic, cult horror and spent a lot of my spare time practicing special effects makeup. That passion became a huge inspiration and influence for the sounds on this album. I wanted the song and video to sonically and visually reflect a feeling of unease, while forcing the listener to embrace the beauty that can come from being so vulnerable.”

Sarah Cripps © 2017

Sarah Cripps © 2017

Cripps’ style is subtle; she waxes over a reverb-swathed guitar, light piano taps and easy drum brushes to fill the space with heartfelt emotion. She mixes folk and roots influences to provide her own alternative country-like sound, though certainly she evades any singular definition. If “Leave Behind” is truly indicative of the album Sarah Cripps, then listeners are in for a true treat. “The recording process for this album was a dream. My producer and I collaborated with some of Canada’s top players between two studios, Union Sound Company and Lincoln County Social Club. We basically kept an ‘anything goes’ mindset the entire time. We let go of any expectation of what genre or box this album should fit into and let it get a bit weird. If someone had a crazy idea, we just went for it.”

Don’t look now, don’t look now
and see those flames
My god, they wrote my name
All I know, all I know won’t help me now
My god, I can’t hear a sound
Goodbye, goodbye

“I struggled a bit deciding what to call this release,” says Cripps, recognizing the import and impact of a self-titled release. This is her quintessential introduction: “I was going through a lot of changes in my personal life and felt like I was living as so many versions of myself. There were a lot of different ideas and identities I wanted the album to represent. I finally decided to embrace all of the weirdness and unease and just accept it as ‘SarahCripps’. Once I did, it was the most comfortable I’ve ever been with myself as an artist.”

Essentially, “Leave Behind” is Sarah Cripps at her best, an emotionally evocative piece that introduces the masses to an incredibly passionate artistry full of promise and sincerity. This is but the beginning of the road for her, and the road is very long. Enjoy “Leave Behind” as Sarah Cripps embarks upon a new, exciting journey full of warmth, deep musicality, and real feeling.

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Leave Behind - Sarah Cripps album art

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com