A (Sarah) Darling Christmas
The year 2013 was a busy one for Sarah Darling. Her summertime single, “Little Umbrellas,” picked up strong reviews and reached the Top 20 charts on Sirius XM. She had numerous television appearances and was the first music artist in over 12 years to receive the National Association for Music Education’s “Stand for Music” Award, recognizing her commitment to music education. Oh yeah, and she also got married in April to her boyfriend, James Muriel.
If that wasn’t enough, Darling decided to record and release a Christmas EP, Have a Merry Little Christmas Darling, featuring three of her favorite traditional holiday tunes and a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “The River.” Darling took a break from surviving Nashville Christmas traffic to talk with Engine 145 about the new EP and her plans for 2014.
What are your Christmas plans for this year?
I got married earlier this year, and my husband and I are spending our first Christmas together in Iowa, which is where I grew up. I’m going back to Mitchellville, which is a small town of about 3,000 people, to do an Iowa Christmas, and then we’re heading to the UK for New Year’s, which will be really, really fun. I always look forward to getting to go out of the country.
Along with your singing career, you’re also a great cook. (Her “Darling’s Desserts” is a regular feature of her Twitter feed.) Do you have any favorite recipes for the holiday season?
I do! My great-grandmother has a recipe that has been passed down. There is something called gaufrettes. It’s a French cookie, and we make them on waffle irons. I’ll sit and make them all day. That’s a family tradition, that all of the women in our family have to make a batch of them.
You’re had a really busy year thus far. What led you to do a Christmas EP as well?
I’ve always wanted to do one. I got approached by a guy named Steve Gibson backstage at the Opry, who is an amazing musician/producer. He said, “I’d really love to work with you,” and we decided to make a four-song Christmas EP together. It was wonderful; we created magic. We had so much fun putting this project together.
You’ve got three traditional songs on it. Were those three longtime favorites for you?
I literally picked my three favorites, as far as the classics are concerned. I don’t think Christmas is the same without “Silent Night,” and “The Christmas Song” is one of my favorites. Then “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is the emotional tear-jerker.
The wild card for me is “The River,” which is one of my favorite songs ever written. It’s more of a winter-type song, if you listen to the lyrics. It’s somewhere between Christmas and winter, but it’s such an amazing story. I love Joni Mitchell.
We’ve almost got 2013 wrapped up. Do you have anything in the works for 2014 that you can talk about?
2014, it looks like I’m going to be making a brand new record the early part of next year, which is exactly what I want to do. I’m going to continue to be making brand new music for all of my fans. I’m getting through Christmas and New Year and getting right back in the studio.
“Little Umbrellas” was a really fun country-pop song. I also saw your appearance on Fox & Friends where you did “Wasted,” which was a really stunning, pure country song. What can we expect from you on a full-length album?
I think that’s what’s going to be interesting about it. I’ve been writing songs for years, so it’s going to be compiling the best songs of mine and outside songs and get a collection that suits me best, which I’ve never really had the chance to do. That’s something I’m really going to take my time on to put together.
It seems like the real creative force in country music right now has been coming from the women of country music. That puts you in good company.
I love being a part of that group. I feel so honored that I’m a part of that. I just want to stand out and be different, and I feel like all the women of country are all a different flavor.
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