Sarah Jarosz Gets To The Bottom Of Loneliness And Longing In 'Undercurrent'

Jul 22, 2016

Virtuoso Sarah Jarosz, 25, has released her latest project, "Undercurrent."  It's her fourth album, despite only just recently graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Jarosz grew up in Texas, but made the move east and now lives in New York City which inspired some of the songs on the album. "Jacqueline" is one of several solo pieces on the record, an intimate recording of a woman and her guitar.

"It really is the first time that I've made a record not being in school... so I've just had a lot more time to really devote to the writing and recording process," she said. "A lot of that time was spent alone in my apartment in New York working on these songs."

Many of her mentors come from the Bluegrass world. She said Chris Thile of Nickel Creek, Tim O'Brien, Darrell Scott and Gillian Welch were eager to pass down their knowledge to a younger generation.

Jarosz wrote "House of Mercy" with Jedd Hughes in Nashville. It's named for a little church in Los Angeles. The track features an ominous  upright bass playing just behind the guitar.

"So much of the subject matter was loneliness and kind of longing and looking back," she said. "I just really wanted to capture that sparseness within the music as well. I was really adamant about keeping it super stripped down."

Jarosz said the conservatory was influential in her music, but she's been glad to have more time to concentrate on her own work.

"It's nice to feel complete presence in a project," It was such a gift to take our time and get to the bottom of these songs."

Sarah Jarosz is playing the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw Saturday night.