Sarah Mary Chadwick’s new album ‘Please Daddy’ is heart-wrenching and confronting

Sarah Mary Chadwick’s new album ‘Please Daddy’ is heart-wrenching and confronting

Sarah Mary Chadwick
Words by Hayley Austen

A few confronting themes touched on here.

On Please Daddy, the ever-prolific Sarah Mary Chadwick presents us a collection of heart-wrenching, unsweetened tracks that are only suitable for brave ears. The release of the statement, “I tried to kill myself this year, so maybe this song is too powerful”, alongside second single ‘When Will Death Come’, encapsulates the gravity of the situation.

Please Daddy, the New Zealand artist’s sixth LP, is a truly crushing accolade to mental health and sees Chadwick at her most vulnerable. Since leading the post-grunge band Batrider in the 2000s, Chadwick has swapped out distorted guitar for brooding acoustic sessions to create a plenary mix of ballads and odes that leave us feeling tender.

However, an oddly uplifting tone remains present throughout the album as emotive lyrics are paired with touching orchestral elements. ‘Please Daddy’, possibly the darkest track, is accompanied by jubilant trumpets to give the song a touch of air. Similarly, ‘The Heart and Its Double’ is accompanied by a flute counter-melody that softly compensates for the track’s intense unhappiness.

I hear influences from Lucy Dacus’ lyrical content, Peter Jefferies’ songwriting and, of course, Sylvia Plath’s iconic poem Daddy, which Chadwick plays tribute to in the name of the LP. Please Daddy will put you in a trance of melancholic rises and falls until,  before you know it, you’re crying on the bathroom floor. I know I was.