Each Saturday, John Moyle brings you the best examples of new Australian songs and videos working together. This week: Sahara Beck’s ‘Queen of Hearts’.
Queenslander Sahara Beck made an astonishing recording debut in 2011, when at 15 years of age, she released her debut album Volume One.
Mentored by singer Harii Bandhu after seeing her perform at her father’s birthday party, the album was realised by Sydney based producer Geir Brillian, who had previously produced Bandhu.
Moving a few years forward, Beck is now working with LA based Australian producer Tony Buchen (Robin Hitchcock, Courtney Barnett and Montaigne) with whom she has formed a trusting and creative relationship that led to her 2019 extended play Queen of Hearts.
Two years at Buchen’s Northeast LA studio in the making, the EPs’ title track ’Queen of Hearts’ is an instant ear worm packed with infectious hooks and synth pads that has Beck exploring a range of emotions about falling in love.
The track also shows the power and range of Beck’s voice, along with her ability to craft a song.
“One of my friends was seeing this guy and it was one of those situations where you realise that you are more willing to overlook certain things in the other person as you keep getting hurt,” Beck said.
“We all go through it.”
With video director and editor Natalie Sims, Beck devised and crafted an immensely stylish clip that sees the narrative drama of ’Queen of Hearts’ play out through three characters, all performed by Beck.
“The ’Queen of Hearts’ is the one in the middle puppeteering everything to try and bring these divergent personalities together and to work in harmony,” Beck said.
Beck also played a big role in the styling of the video which saw her go for “block colours and to be really straight forward with not too many patterns and stuff”.
Actually, the video has a fourth character in the Ford Mustang convertible that Beck wheels across the landscape in order to catch up with one of the players.
“My manager knew someone who knew someone and it was a really cool rock chick who didn’t want to be paid and was just excited that her car was going to be used in a music video,” Beck said.
“She was really interested in the process and stayed with us the whole time we we’re filming.”
Like all other artists around the world, Covid has caused Beck delays and cancellations.
With supports for the album on hold, Beck now plans to release on vinyl with six originals plus a cover to be decided.
“We recorded the album halfway through last year (2019) and we were starting to work on releasing the EP on vinyl and the album after that, but because you can’t do anything at the moment we had to cancel those plans,” Beck said.
The pandemic also saw Beck’s planned collaboration in February with cult cabaret boylesque group Briefs, The Bite, at Perth’s Fringe World Festival pulled.
Having picked up an award for ’Queen of Hearts’ in the Adult Album Alternative category at the International Songwriting Competition, the 2019 Carol Lloyd Award and four Queensland Music Awards there is no doubting Beck’s songwriting skills.
With a reputation as a dynamic live performer, Beck has astounded crowds at the Byron Bay Bluesfest, The Falls Music & Arts Festival and the Festival of the Sun, but for now it is time to take stock of the past and plan for her current work to have a new life on vinyl, released through Dew Process.
‘Queen of Hearts’ is the title track from the EP
Produced, Mixed and Engineered by Tony Buchen
Performed by Sahara Beck
Written by Sahara Beck & Tony Buchen