Sarah Jarosz heeded the advice to look outward, rather than inward, as she began to write for her fifth album, World on the Ground. Those words of wisdom came from producer John Leventhal, who told Jarosz in the studio that they would first record demos for her original songs — and, as Jarosz later realized, those no-pressure recordings often ended up on the final project.
“Because of that, I think there’s a magic that comes through in the songs,” she says. “Instead of judging myself or getting in my head too much, we were just creating true music in the moment.”
World on the Ground marks Jarosz’s full transition from a promising newcomer from Wimberly, Texas, to a cornerstone of the acoustic music community. A gifted guitarist and songwriter, Jarosz won two Grammys for her prior album, 2016’s Undercurrent, and a third for the song “Call My Name,” which she recorded as a member of I’m With Her. Now living in New York City, Jarosz still draws on her hometown experiences on songs like “Orange and Blue,” which she performed on a recent episode of Whiskey Sour Happy Hour (watch above).
“As I was writing this record, it was the deepest I’d ever gone in terms of getting down to the very specific details in the way I told each story,” she says. “The details are what make people feel something and connect the story to their own lives, and that’s really all I want for my music.”
Photo credit: Josh Wool