The Blue Nile

Hats (Linn/A&M)

Sarah Grace White Digs Hats: Los Angeles singer, songwriter and actor Sarah Grace White told us about her love for a Blue Nile gem.


Sarah Grace White:  Say you’re in your own movie – it’s the late 80s and you’re a leading man – maybe Tom Cruise or Hanks, and you’re walking in a fictional New York, trench coat on, you’ve got your whole life at once ahead of and behind you. Maybe you almost got divorced but you remembered when you saw your wife for the first time and you called the whole thing off; maybe you got fired but it feels good to be free. And you’re walking, and it’s raining, and who knows what the night has in store. If this is you, or you are me, a girl in her 20s, you are listening to “The Downtown Lights,” by the Blue Nile.

I love this record, and this band. It is such a perfect combination of emotional and restrained. My favorite thing in music is space – how much sound can you hear from something so simple; how much are you actually hearing and how much is your ear and your heart working to fill in the blanks. So much of my favorite music lives in that middle space – New Order, Brain Eno – but The Blue Nile is so special to me. The vocals are so present and earnest, almost spiritual, amidst stretches of sound that are simple and huge. It’s like a marriage of gorgeous straightforward pop songwriting and very chill dance music. It’s great music to walk to, or drive to. Movement is something I strive for in my own music – does it propel you to your next destination, or to nowhere? does it make your posture better?

This whole record is just soaring and beautiful to me. So is their first one, A Walk Across the Rooftops, but Hats was the first thing I heard. And it’s only 7 songs – really great.

A fun fact – I grew up in the 90s to music loving parents so we had closets of CDs, and I think they’ve all disappeared now. My mom gave me 10 or so that she had found – really good stuff – PJ Harvey and Talk Talk and Tori Amos – one of them was Hats. I thought I just discovered this band in the last couple years, but I guess I’ve been grooving to this Scottish ambient band since I was a child. No wonder I was always incredibly cool. Catch me doing Saturday Night at karaoke.

Sarah Grace White Digs Hats: Sarah Grace White’s Are You Here This Time? EP is out now. She plays Genghis Cohen on May 6.


















































































































































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