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Australian songwriter Sarah Blasko arrived in the U.S. in 2005 with a pedigree that couldn't be ignored: trailing a list of ARIA Award nominations in the categories of Best Album, Best Female Artist, Best Breakthrough Artist, and Best Pop Release, she also distinguished herself -- and perked up the ears of rock skeptics -- by being tagged somewhere along her cross-continental journey with the moniker "Girliohead." The comparisons were not unfounded. Like Radiohead and the countless lovelorn, world-weary, too-smart-for-their-own-good British piano pounders that the band spawned, Blasko proved to be an appealing wallower. Her ethereal, at times Fiona Apple-like voice rode the gentle arrangements on her debut full-length, The Overture & the Underscore, taking care never to redirect them, and her lyrics evoked an atmospheric grace that burrowed into the mind's dark recesses. Blasko's head space was apparently the kind that's allergic to daylight.
Raised by missionary parents, Blasko sang her first songs in church alongside her tone-deaf mother, but the influences that came across more readily in her music derived from the '80s radio and television she heard as a child: Prince, David Bowie, and Eurythmics. Those popular acts, combined with the composers her professor father introduced her to -- Rachmaninov, Schubert, and Bach -- formed a pleasing musical jumble she would later pick apart and repackage into digestible, brainy pop. In high school, Blasko led a jazz- and blues-influenced band with her sister that soon dissolved; other bands followed, but within the space of a few years Blasko was determinedly a solo act, and also something of a homebody.
An introductory EP, the six-song Prelusive, arrived in 2004 and was routinely referred to as "homespun." But its promise propelled Blasko, who returned later that year with the full-length The Overture & the Underscore and, after racking up fans in Australia, pulled up stakes and landed in Hollywood. After the disc's 2005 release in America, Blasko embarked on tours with the likes of Ray LaMontagne and Martha Wainwright. Her second full-length album, What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have, was released in Australia in 2006, debuting at number seven on the ARIA chart. Two years later, she decamped to Sweden and began working with Björn Yttling, who produced 2009's As Day Follows Night -- the album was released in another edition a year later in 2010, packaged with Live at the Forum.
Sarah Elizabeth Blaskow (born 23 September 1976) is an Australian singer-songwriter and musician. Blasko developed her solo career after fronting Sydney-based band, Acquiesce, between the mid-1990s and 2002.
In 2007, Blasko won the "Best Pop Release" award for What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have at the ARIA Music Awards. Her album, As Day Follows Night, won the "Best Female Artist" award at the 2009 ARIA Awards.
Early life 
Blasko was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, in 1976, soon after her family returned from French-speaking Réunion, where both parents were Christian missionaries. Blasko's mother was a nurse and her father a teacher; both parents were from a Bulgarian/German background. Upon their return to Australia, Blasko's parents frequently changed churches and settled at a Pentecostal church in Sydney, which later became the Hillsong Church.
While in high school, Blasko and her older sister, Kate, formed a jazz-blues group. By the age of 15, Blasko was concerned she "wouldn't make it" and was partially influenced by the apocalyptic message of the "End of the World" and "Christ's Return". Blasko eventually left the church in her final year of school, declaring that its emphasis on material success "just didn't fit" with her, or her interpretation of the scriptures. However, Blasko has since stated that she thinks she still believes in "God", despite her perception that such an admission is unpopular in Australia. She had no formal singing lessons until aged 19 and started playing guitar. At university, Blasko completed a degree in English literature and film.
From 1998, as Sarah Semmens, she fronted Sydney band Acquiesce on lead vocals, with founding members Paul Camilleri on guitar, Steve Foxe on violin, Dave Hemmings on drums, Ted Langtree on bass guitar and her sister Kate Halcrow on harmony vocals. Tracks were co-written by Blasko and Camilleri, Acquiesce recorded an EP, Aa for Acquiesce, released in September 1999. Dave Cullen (of Brotherhood Lush) replaced Langtree on bass guitar and they released a single, "Breathe In", in November 2000. Both EP and single were produced by Hugh Wilson (Brotherhood Lush). Acquiesce received some local attention in 1999 by winning a national campus band competition. Acquiesce disbanded by January 2001 and Blasko teamed-up with acoustic guitarist, Nick Schneider in the short-lived project Sorija, an acoustic pop/electronic duo, they played gigs in Sydney until April 2002. Early in her career, Blasko says she had an unsuccessful marriage.
Personal style 
Blasko is known for her vintage tastes in clothes, music and art, and she revealed in a Rolling Stone (Australia) interview: "I like things that are old and have been lived in. It probably started as a kid when my family shopped at Vinnie's because we hardly had any money. I like things that stand the test of time."
Solo career 
In 2002, Blasko went solo and released her debut EP Prelusive. She released and promoted her material independently, with financial assistance from her manager Craig New. She also produced the music video for lead track, "Your Way". Blasko eventually signed to Brisbane-based label, Dew Process, which repackaged and re-released Prelusive in March 2003.
Debut album 
In October 2004, Blasko released her debut album, The Overture & the Underscore, recorded in Hollywood at the studio of engineer Wally Gagel. She co-produced with Gagel and fellow songwriter Robert F. Cranny. Gagel engineered and mixed the album, with assistance from Bruce MacFarlane. Joey Waronker played all and percussion. Cranny also played various instruments on the album.
The album met with critical acclaim and received platinum accreditation in Australia for sales of over 70,000, and peaked into the Top 40 on the ARIA Albums Chart. In 2005, Blasko received four ARIA Music Awards nominations, including 'Album of the Year'.
Three music videos were produced for album tracks: "Don't U Eva", "Always Worth It" and "Perfect Now".
Her debut EP and album focused around acoustic guitar and utilized both live and programmed drums.
Bernard Zuel reviewed the album for The Sydney Morning Herald, saying "Blasko works in the territory where Ed Harcourt and Fiona Apple shine, taking some of the new acoustic framework (think Turin Brakes) and some of the folk-meets-electronica stuff that came out in the post-Portishead years and applies them to straightforward pop songs."
What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have 
Blasko spent April 2006 recording her second album in Auckland, New Zealand at Roundhead Studio, the studio of Crowded House frontman Neil Finn. She produced the album with Cranny and Moginie and it featured musical contributions from Dave Symes, Jeff De Araujo, Moginie and Cranny; Victor Van Vugt mixed the record.
The first radio-only single released from the album was "Explain" on 11 September, with a music video viewable on Blasko's official website. The next single, "Always on This Line", also had a video. A video was also made for "Planet New Year". "Explain" reached No. 79 and "Always on this Line" achieved No. 58 on Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2006. The album was released in Australia on 21 October, it debuted at No. 7 on the ARIA Albums Charts and has received platinum accreditation.
As Day Follows Night 
In 2008, Blasko composed the score (with Stefan Gregory) for Bell Shakespeare's production of Hamlet, which ran in July–August. While working on the Hamlet score, Blasko also began composing for her third studio album, As Day Follows Night. Blasko recorded it in Stockholm, Sweden, and blogged on her official site about her experiences from January 2009. She had written the songs without input from long term co-writer, Cranny—their creative and personal relationship had ended. Blasko decided to record in a simpler and more straight forward manner—without electric guitars and keyboards. The album was produced by Bjorn Yttling (of Peter Bjorn and John) and released in Australia on 10 July, peaking at No. 5 on the ARIA Albums Chart.
Seeker Lover Keeper 
In 2010, Blasko recorded an album in New York with fellow Australian singer-songwriters Holly Throsby and Sally Seltmann. The group and subsequent album were titled Seeker Lover Keeper. The debut album for the group hit No. 3 on the ARIA Charts in June 2011, Blasko's highest chart entry. The trio embarked on a national tour to promote the album in June and July 2011.
I Awake 
On November 5, 2012, Blasko released her latest album, I Awake. She planned to tour Australia, visiting every capital city, to promote the album in February, 2013. She also planned to invite an orchestra in each capital city to accompany her.
Sarah Blasko has toured extensively in Australia, as well as the US, Canada, UK and Ireland. Although the exact configuration varies, she performs with a five or six piece band usually consisting of drums, electric and synth bass, acoustic and electric guitar plus keyboards and various samplers/ effects units. Due to the breadth of arrangement most of the touring musicians are multi-instrumentalists.
She also performed in a duo with Cranny accompanying on guitar and keyboards. In both formats, Blasko plays acoustic guitar and occasional keyboards. She has toured with folk/roots artists such as Ray LaMontagne and played outdoor rock festivals.
Blasko has toured the UK and Ireland with Tom McRae, and US and Canada with Ray LaMontagne, James Blunt and Martha Wainwright. She has played at Woodford Folk Festival, The Falls Festival, Homebake, Splendour in the Grass, Festival of the Sun, WOMADelaide festival and in 2006 joined the national Big Day Out tour.
In March 2007 Blasko performed a special concert in Perth, Western Australia in the Octagon Theatre of the University of Western Australia. Blasko supported by a string quartet and a local guitarist.
In January 2009, Blasko played to thousands at the Southbound festival in Busselton, Western Australia.
In May 2010 Sarah Blasko toured the UK supporting The Temper Trap. Later that year she also toured through the rest of Europe.
In 2012, Blasko performed with Snow Patrol at their acoustic shows in Melbourne (September 30) and Sydney (October 1). She joined lead singer Gary Lightbody for the duet "Set Fire to the Third Bar".
ARIA awards 
Blasko has won two Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards from 14 nominations.