Sarah Mary Chadwick
About Sarah Mary Chadwick
Songwriter Sarah Mary Chadwick led the post-grunge band Batrider in the 2000s before switching focus to sparer, more confessional solo material. A vocalist with a raw, anguished delivery, her first solo outing was 2012's Eating for Two. She broke her habit of spare instrumentation with the full band outing Please Daddy in 2020, but returned to stark songs of just piano and vocals on 2021's emotionally raw Me and Ennui Are Friends Baby.
Hailing from New Zealand, Chadwick formed Batrider in Wellington with guitarist Julia McFarlane, bassist Toby Morris, and drummer Tara Wilcox. They made their recording debut with the 2004 EP They Said You're Hideous. The Take Me Back EP followed in 2006, and 2007's Pink Guitars, Yellow Stars EP featured Sam Featherstone, who replaced Morris on bass. The quartet then moved to Melbourne and signed with Remote Control for their full-length debut, Tara, issued in August 2007. More lineup changes followed, with Chadwick the only consistent member through the entire tenure of the band, whose angular, confrontational indie rock also appeared on 2009 albums Why We Can't Be Together and Bag Wine Forever, and 2011's Pile of Lies. By then, Chadwick was becoming less interested in collaboration and had begun writing in an even more candid, personal style for herself.
Her solo debut, Eating for Two, arrived in 2012 on Bedroom Suck Records and featured electric guitar and keyboard instruments but rarely drums (and then mostly samples). In 2014, Hit and Miss: B Sides + Demos, Vol. 1 collected tracks from 2012-2014. The non-collection 9 Classic Tracks followed on Siltbreeze Records in 2015, and a year later Rice Is Nice Records issued the plaintive Roses Always Die. Chadwick returned in 2018 with two releases for Sinderlyn: This One's for Me: B Sides + Demos, Vol. 2 and her fourth official solo album, Sugar Still Melts in Rain. Using electric piano as her main accompaniment, it was recorded and mixed by synth pop artist Geoffrey O'Connor. The next year's The Queen Who Stole the Sky had Chadwick accompanying herself on a 19th century pipe organ. She followed that with her most expansive arrangements yet, including a guest rhythm section, trumpet, and flute on the still-intimate Please Daddy in early 2020. Just a year later, Chadwick stripped her arrangements back down to just piano and vocals on Me and Ennui Are Friends Baby, released in February of 2021 with Ba Da Bing Records. ~ Marcy Donelson