Sarah Kinsley is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Her most recent release is an EP called The King, which came out in 2021. When she made it, she was in college in New York— and actually, at the moment, she still is. But the title track on The King was written at a time when the pandemic had shut things down, and she was back in Connecticut, living with her parents. In this episode, Sarah tells the story of demo’ing the song in her childhood bedroom, then recording it in the studio with producer Jake Aron, before it went on to become a hit with over twenty millions streams online. Sarah’s performing at the Song Exploder show at SXSW on March 16, along with Perfume Genius, Kimbra, and more. Hope to see you there.
For more visit, songexploder.net/sarah-kinsley
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Sarah Kinsley is a singer songwriter and multi. Instrumentalist
Most recent release is an e p called the king, which came out in
when he twenty one when it came out.
She was in college in New York City and at the moment she still is
the title track on the king, was written at a time when the pandemic had shut things down, and she was back in Connecticut living with her parents. In this episode, Sarah tells the story of Demo ing the song in her childhood bedroom and then recording it in the studio with producer Jake Aaron before it went on to become a hit with over twenty million streams online. So far, also
on March sixteenth. Sarah is performing at the song exploiter show at south by southwest, along with perfume genius Kimbra and more helps you there. Here's Sarah Kinsley on Song, Exploder the
my name is Sarah Kinsley. I had been
college for about
three years and it was exciting and riveting and
and then I went home for this uncertain amount of time.
I was at
parents home in.
I get a lot of my.
books on the shelves. You know the same sort of a bed frame and my walls are kind of covered in the same things and nothing has changed, and I was
Craving the feeling of being like.
overwhelmed by life
and by music and art and people, and I miss that feeling a lot.
so ten or fifteen days before my birthday,
I remember, being really moody that day I was just thinking so much about like I'm turning twenty you know on this is,
the sort of shedding of a decade.
I had written this list of things that I wanted to do before I turned twenty six
up all night to watch the sunrise from my window.
Dance in the rain barefoot on my driveway and go through the street and then the last thing on the list was like right.
my use of my life so far. You know something really big telling myself to do something to remember
the past few years by
and then I got this.
This plan on my parents home.
My phone is always,
popped up in front of me on this upright piano that I've been playing since first
I can remember,
I get really sucked into the instrument, and
I just feel like sometimes insists start playing. I forget
I've never gotten feeling ever before. Music work just like something has fallen out of the sky and into
my fingertips grown up
The piano is like my introduction to music, so
it made perfect sense that that was the thing that would be the catalyst for the rest of the song and then
Filled in and
are making me listen to this.
that recording is just hilarious. Cuz. It's from the day that
my brain figured out what the pre chorus melody would be, and you can hear me mumbling, like a fool.
so yeah good.
you can hear my my fingers going up and down the fretboard, because I know that there's a really really sick cord, but I don't know where it is
Before I even finished writing it. I just started producing a demo on my computer.
This horrible little drum rack of like that programs and I've found a couple since I don't have a base. So I would chief by just tuning my guitar part, an octave lower, but I knew exactly how I wanted certain things to sound. I recorded it in my childhood bedroom in my closet. I had this makeshift setup of like three really thick blankets, kind of taped to my doors that would just put my mic there. We then see a he's, settle his heels and food, and I put this kind of wonky demo together,
Between the half demo phase and then the final thing
There are so many big decisions.
is to be made. I had never worked with another producer or collaborator on any of my own work, and so that was
big decision island
on Jake Aaron, who has studio in green point in Brooklyn and had a great phone call and I
I loved his earlier.
Where can I was a relatively short phone call, but
I remember feeling very apt and thinking I've. Ok, we're going to turn this into the thing you know. So one of the first things we did was we brought in an actual drummer, which was crazy, because I had also only ever sort of programmed Miti drones,
It was big thief came in
and then we
into this other room in the same building of Jake Studio.
I remember this scheme
He clean white piano in the room and was all night and set up, but when I had
it the demo. I had found this.
piano sound for the introduction
and I loved the sound the so I
really hesitant about giving that up and replacing it, but I remember
going and sitting down and playing one note, Onenote
was exactly the same as what I had programmed
I had a friend who was in a different studio there and he was sort of listening to me and a shower him nodding like furiously like yeah like it was. It was so validating.
Jake played the bass part. I played the guitar parts and we kind of
Wrote those simultaneously we had to go back and forth about the rhythm of the bass during the chorus like maybe five times I wanted it to move faster project was like no. No. I think we should go just on the beat every four and we it was so great. I played a lot
I was in high school really and I was like my whole life for a long time, and I play the piano
classical music. The
that I played in the is like this really lush really layered cord, and it was something that I learned about like impressionist, music or like romantic music, which made use of these kinds of cord, and that was a huge part of the king.
My favorite lines of the entire song-
were the first ones that I wrote, which was that first verse I built a time machine to see you again
It felt like a really guttural, very expressive way of admitting to myself that I was longing for something that I didn't have anymore. More
The time machine to see and asked
thinking like who am I talking about to hear your phone call your voice down the hall, the way that
speaking to myself in the past saying you know
call myself and and hear my own voice and know what it was like to feel so.
Abundantly happy like I had and what I had known.
You told me before we get all the leads to see those back.
Convoke was during the verses are from my first them.
I'll just sing into the MIKE over and over again on loop, and then events,
something comes out of it.
I really wanted to keep the background vocals as how I recorded them, and we did and and Jake mix them in, and it was great
you there there's more background vocals. At the end, I'm singing like
again again, we did like a bunch of layers of those.
We talked a lot about layering when we were in the studio
the meaning of the song was about the multiplicity of life or, like me, talking to myself
like that influence, this kind of production choices we made
You know we layered tons of instruments, the piano arpeggio, the
he came in default major. I tried playing it another keys and I would go back to that original idea and just just sink into it, because it felt so right. So the heart
It's hard to sing and the song is the chorus because it's
it is so high on a bed. Yeah, that's odd. I can see the the the the
Think of just the word, the king, I think of this greatness, and I
about this a lot after writing the song like why
the king there so many connotations immediately in beer
into the word. You know it's gendered. It's has to do with power has to do with status. There's a lot of things like wrapped.
Into it. But when I
Think of king of your heart, I think of
living in a way that's
loving and loving, very powerfully and and in a way that sort of unashamed
It was really funny when the sun came out, because I remember people saying
it's about love. This song is about loving someone and it's about wanting to be the king of their hard and giving yourself to someone
I guess that's that's true, except it's about myself. I wouldn't
love to say, and I think I can very.
Fully, unlike surely say that I am the king of my heart and now here's the king by Sarah Kinsley in its entirety,
only dot net to learn more you'll, find
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This absurd and the shows the music were made by me with editing help from Craig III and Casey deal artwork by car,
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we're she case your way, thanks for listening
Thanks. So much too oh, who are sponsoring
upcoming song exploder herself by south concert on March, sixteenth
odoo is the most popular open source e on the planet.
companies rely on odoo because their applications are fully integrated. What is full
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To another tool box as they work they keep up,
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-19.