Sargent Channels Grief into Beauty on "Echo Hill"

She's one half of Prince tribute act Princess with actress/comedian Maya Rudolph, but as a solo artist Gretchen Lieberum is Sargent.

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Jul 25 2016, 1:38pm

Sargent is Gretchen Lieberum. Perhaps you know her from her birth name, under which she's released four records, but more likely her name sounds familiar in conjunction with Princess, her Prince tribute act with actress and comedian Maya Rudolph (performances are ongoing). Now Lieberum is emerging from her cocoon as Sargent. Her self-titled LP, out September 16th, has been a long time (six years) in gestation with the help of collaborator Jake Blanton (The Killers, Beck). Of course they weren't exclusively working on just this: In the interim, there was Princess, Lieberum became a mother, and she also tragically lost her own. This loss and flux is elegantly woven into the record—cinematic, often piano driven songs delivered with rare hairsbreadth intimacy. A slight hand with the sparsity. "Echo Hill," the album opener which is premiering below, is no exception.

"The lyrics of Echo Hill were inspired by the grief and subsequent insomnia that resulted from the loss of my mother in 2013," she explains. "Sometimes I'd still be awake at four in the morning and would find myself walking to the end of my street in Echo Park, looking at the lights of downtown. My songwriting partner and producer, Jake Blanton, took what was a melancholic lyric and melody and helped me craft a track and sound that is bittersweet but also airy and hopeful at the same time."

Sample some of Sargent below.