NXNE: Sarah MacDougall

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By Emma Prestwich


Sarah MacDougall doesn’t feel so alone anymore.

The folk artist is known for her honest, lonely songs, but during her show at C’est What Thursday night, she seemed ready to share some joy with the crowd.

Most of her set came off her new album, “The Greatest Ones Alive”. The album is brighter and more mature than 2007’s Across the Atlantic, and more about personal growth than sadness and loss.

She says the change of content and style was intentional and reflects a shift in her self-esteem.

“I also think that I changed and developed as a person… I’m becoming more powerful.”

Her last album, Across the Atlantic, makes the listener feel as if they’re riding a train through the wilderness with MacDougall as a guide. It is haunting, sad and clearly illustrative of the years she spent loving, losing and moving.

She grew up both in Vancouver and in her home country of Sweden, and often sings about not having a real home. While some artists love being nomads, she says it isn’t a feeling she enjoys.

“It’s who I’ve been for so long… there’s always this longing.”

Her most recent move to Whitehorse to record “The Greatest Ones Alive” turned into a permanent stay after she was romanced by the city and its music community.

“There’s nothing else to do up there,” she says. “Everyone there plays an instrument really well.”

While the small samples of “The Greatest Ones Alive” that MacDougall shared with the crowd show she is more at peace with herself, she still will never lose the ache that fueled the beautiful “I’ve Got Sorrow”, if the song is true.






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