Sarah Peacock’s new album ‘Burn the Witch‘ is out tomorrow, and it features a set of songs that are touchstones to today which also reflect on the past – the title song for example connects with the 1692 Salem witch trials, whilst other songs find connections that are more directly personal to Peacock.
Growing up in a suburb of Atlanta Sarah Peacock’s youth was quite tighly constrained by religion – she performed in the church as part of band and choir, as well as in stage musicals in high school but was forbidden from listening to secular music. So the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Johnny Cash, Linda Ronstadt and country icons Dolly and Reba were all off limits. She also found that her church didn’t approve of her, as she says “I was told that you couldn’t be gay and a Christian.” The outcome was emotional unrest and an ongoing mental health battle : “I was feeling like who I was was so innately wrong that I simply didn’t want to exist anymore“. The solution, as it so often is, was moving away and finding people who could accept her as a person not as some kind of flaw in the fabric of creation.
Speaking of today’s song Sarah peacock told us “I wrote this song with my good friends Danny Myrick (‘She’s Country,’ Jason Aldean) and Megan Linville. It actually took two full writing sessions to get ‘House of Bones.’ After the first co-write, it was a completely different song than what you hear now. None of us were really feeling it and believed the song needed to go somewhere else. So we got back together and decided we were going to sit in the dark with each other. It was tough. I think we were all channelling regret, loss, fear, failure. In my own personal experience, this song reminds me of some decisions I made in my youth that I’m not proud of. It hurts sometimes to relive those memories, and I think about the people I hurt along the way. On the flip side, I am so grateful today that I was brave enough to face myself and my mistakes, which is the only reason I am able to live a grounded and authentic life today.
My absolute favourite part about recording this song was the string section. Nothing that had been recorded up to that point was making us unhappy, but there was definitely something missing. The best decision I ever made was to call my friend Brian Sutherland. He’s a total genius on the cello because it took us all of 30 minutes to lay down his parts. We layered and layered until it sounded like a full string section. When we were finished and listened down to the song, we all had goosebumps. It was exactly what the song needed, and I can’t imagine the song without it. ”