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This week, Grammy winning singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan releases “Shine On,” her eighth studio album and her first in four years.
There are songs that address the loss of her father, who died of cancer in 2010, as well as the joy of discovering new love following her divorce in 2008.
As she tells Here & Now’s Robin Young, “the songs are a reflection of the past six years, little postcards of stories of where I was at emotionally.”
Sarah McLachlan also wants to address people’s misconceptions about her, in part due to her ASPCA commercials.
“It’s funny because people assume I’m such a Debbie Downer, and I live in the dark, with candles and write poetry. But I’m really a pretty happy person.”
On the experiences that inspired “Shine On”
“Lots of changes — I’m not necessarily discussing those in the songs so much, but the passing of my father — there’s a bunch of songs in there for him, about him. There’s also a lot of songs about parenting, and the terrors and joys of that as well. And also, of hope — of the possibility of new love.”
“I look at life as a constant evolution, and my goal is to suck the marrow out of every single day, and every day is a new opportunity to begin again. That’s sort of why I wanted to call this record ‘Shine On’ — the songs are sort of a reflection of the last six years, little postcards of stories of where I was at emotionally. So I was ready to finish the songs, ready to put it out there to the world.”
On the song she wrote in honor of her father
“It reminds me of him. I mean, I wrote it as an homage to him, to what he meant to me, and I got to understand what he was for me after he was gone, which is a little bit sad as well, although I feel like I did get to tell him everything, and I had the luxury of spending most of the last 18 months of his life with him, because I was home and not working. So just being with him and spending time with him and getting to say everything I wanted to say was a real gift. And also the recognition of that unconditional love, and understanding that rarely happens, and there’s very few people in life who you can depend upon in that way, and that I was now that person for my two daughters.”
On her ASPCA PSA
“It’s heart-wrenching, but you know, that ad raised generated over $30 million for the ASPCA, even though it’s incredibly — I can’t watch it! I turn the channel! I can’t take it, it’s painful, but I guess that’s why it works so well… I love being able to help.”