Sara Jackson-Holman - When You Dream
Record Label: Expunged Records
Record Date: May 18th, 2010
At 21, Sara Jackson-Holman is an Oregon darling – the kind you’d expect to be wailing radio pop anthems, according to her age. But instead, she’s penning shadowy piano ballads that echo Brooke Waggoner and Norah Jones – a pleasant and welcome surprise. You may have already heard her song “Into the Blue,” which was used in a season finale of the TV series Castle.
How is it?
For a debut album by a fresh artist still in college, When You Dream is pretty remarkable. Jackson-Holman’s artfully gurgled voice accompanies an intelligent array of keys, strings and sensuous horns to create what could be the most mature introduction by a singer/songwriter in quite some time. The comparison to other, current femme fatale indie acts is inescapable, but Jackson-Holman sounds like she’s on the verge of rivaling them, rather than just following in their footsteps. Even then, she manages to infuse originality into her music, often choosing to showcase her mastery of the Mozart’s and Beethoven’s (“Red Ink,” “Maybe Something’s Wrong”). “Wrap my heart in cellophane / Keep it dry when it rains / Maybe that way I’ll keep it safe from you,” she sings on the pompous romp of “Cellophane,” and we know she struggles with life’s dramas just like everyone else. But it’s such things that are fuel for these songs. “The star you wished on fell to earth, and set my heart on fire,” burns “Train Ride.” On When You Dream, Jackon-Holman’s heart couldn’t possibly be any warmer.