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Single Premiere: Sierra Ferrell - 'The Sea'

By Amanda Wicks

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Translating the magic of an artist’s magnetic stage show isn’t an easy task. Whatever dynamism they exhibit on stage doesn’t always mean it can be captured during the process of recording. For some, though, the medium doesn’t inhibit their musical inclinations – it buoys it.

Sierra Ferrell earned attention from Rounder Records thanks to her entrancing live shows, but luckily, translating that presence to a record only meant letting Ferrell continue to be herself in all her wandering, whimsical glory.

Ferrell's instincts shine through on ‘The Sea’ - her new single premiering at Holler - that focuses on a fickle lover whose attentions ebb and flow like waves. Woven through with gypsy jazz, the song’s steady beat conjures up a sunny day by the shoreline. Against that meter, Ferrell lets her slinky alto soar. “The sea, the sea, the sea, is such a salty, magic place/ If you find yourself going under, you’ll remember the taste,” she sings with a winking know-how.

‘The Sea’ appears on Ferrell’s forthcoming label debut Long Time Coming, which was co-produced by Stu Hibberd and Grammy Award winner Gary Paczosa. It doesn’t paint any one picture but instead presents a colorful kaleidoscope. “I want my music to be like my mind is—all over the place,” Ferrell shared. “I listen to everything from bluegrass to techno to goth metal, and it all inspires me in different ways that I try to incorporate into my songs and make people really feel something.”

Ferrell doesn't just wander musically. After growing up in West Virginia, she hopped in her van and toured the country, busking and performing where she could, before eventually landing in Nashville. Like her movement, her sound can’t be pinned down to one style – one location on a map – because it encompasses a little of everything she’s experienced, and that eclecticism makes it all the more vivid.

“A lot of us are taught to wake up, go to work, make money, eat, sleep, rinse, repeat,” Ferrell said. “It’s so easy to get caught up in that nine-to-five routine, and end up numb and dulled-down to everything. I want my music to help people break away from that — to get lost in their imagination, and start seeing how magical the world can be if you just pay attention.” With Ferrell, magic will surely follow.

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen. Courtesy of Artist.