With a fresh, exciting and energetic approach, Sarah Sarah are a pop group united by adoration for upbeat infectious melody doused in harmonies and wholesome cheer.
Their recently released debut EP 'Sing till it hurts', (released through new Australian label, Popboomerang Records), shines with irresistibly crafted pop hooks, driven by simple hand-clap drum beats, boppy bass lines and dinky-yet-tasteful keyboard lines reminiscent of some of their influences; Elvis Costello, Weezer, Fountains of Wayne and Letters To Cleo. In short, Sarah Sarah = pop bliss!
They were like a pop supernova. They burned brightly. And then burned out.
“New rock” was the sound of Melbourne late-2002. But it wasn’t all there was. A band called Sarah Sarah was screaming for a pop revival.
“Pop is the new rock,” Klinger singer Ben Birchall proclaimed from the Tote stage on the day that Sarah Sarah launched their debut EP, Sing Till It Hurts (the first release for Popboomerang Records).
Sarah Sarah sang about Killing Heidi, 80s movies and Dawson’s Creek. But just as everyone in Dawson’s Creek grew up and pashed each other, innocence dies.
The great bands have tension, but sometimes there’s just a bit too much tension …
Every Sarah Sarah gig was memorable. And sometimes you got two shows for the price of one. The first – the songs – was always fun, but then the post-gig fight in the band room was occasionally frightening. Still, it was definitely entertaining.
And the tension was rarely obvious on stage. The boy/girl vocal thing worked a treat. And Sarah Sarah celebrated the tambourine. In fact, Sarah Sarah were known as “The Tambos” when they started out in April, 2002, debuting at an all-ages show in Heidelberg called “Dude, Where’s My Gig?” But because everyone thought their name was “the tam-boss”, they switched to Sarah Sarah.
Their first Sarah Sarah gig was a battle of the bands, where they won a seven-string metal guitar, which sat for months at the Muso Swap Shop in Carlton. “We were hoping to put the money towards our CD, but no-one touched it,” singer/guitarist Zac Anthony recalls.
Explaining the name, singer Kate Duncan says: “We were reading the street press and came across a reviewer who wrote under the name ‘Sarah Sarah’. We thought if we called ourselves Sarah Sarah that person would write about us, but then she disappeared.”
And then, less than a year after they formed, Sarah Sarah disappeared, too, playing their last gig as part of The Lost Weekend shows at the Tote. The gig was memorable for the Sarah drummer running off stage in the middle of a song, going to the front bar to buy a beer and then returning to his kit. “At least we went out in a rock ‘n’ roll way,” Kate says.
They released just one EP and one track on the Popboomerang compilation, Shake Yer Popboomerang (called Ignorance & Arrogance, it’s a savage attack on ignorant music reviewers – check it out, if you get the chance). Six songs in total. Not enough.
I think I called them, “the cutest pop band since Frente!”, or something like that. If truth be told, I just wanted to see my name on their press release.
A year later, my computer plays Sing Till It Hurts and memories of the summer of 2002 come flooding back.