Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
“I think sometimes all you need is to hear someone else say the same thing that you're going through to realize that you're not alone. I try to put some sense of hope into the songs, into whatever the situation is so that it's not just dirt, drudgery and a life of misery. You've got to try to find a flip-side to everything, the good side.” Sarah McLachlan
Grammy-winning Canadian musician, singer and songwriter Sarah McLachlan, who was signed with the independent record label Nettwerk in Canada and later with Arista, was shot to prominence in the early 1990s after the release of her triple-platinum album, “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” (1993). She has since released more platinum albums, including "Surfacing" (1997), "Mirrorball" (1999), "Afterglow" (2003) and "Wintersong" (2006) and made a name for herself with songs like "Building a Mystery," "Adia," "Angel," "Hold On," "Sweet Surrender," "Possession," "Fallen," "I Will Remember You" and "World on Fire." She will soon release a greatest hits album, "Closer: The Best of Sarah McLachlan," on October 7, 2008. It is preceded by the lead single "U Want Me 2."
The 5' 7" musician, who is often recognized for originating “Lilith Fair,” a tour which showcased female musicians in the late 1990s, ranked #69 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll and a recipient of the Order of Canada.
“Time is a beautiful thing. It's like when you meet an old lover on the street six years later and they don't look so ugly anymore.” Sarah McLachlan
McLachlan married her longtime drummer, Ashwin Sood, in 1997. She recently announced their separation in September 2008. Thy have two children.
Childhood and Family:
Adopted in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Sarah Ann McLachlan, born on January 28, 1968, claims Vancouver is her home. She was educated at Queen Elizabeth High School, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. McLachlan lost her mother to cancer in December 2001.
In Negril, Jamaica, on February 7, 1997, McLachlan married her band's drummer Ashwin Sood (born on September 25, 1967). They have two daughters, India Ann Sushil Sood (born on April 6, 2002) and Taja Summer Sood (born on June 22, 2007). In September 2008, McLachlan announced she was separated from her husband of 11 years.
"I'm separating from my husband, so these are the songs about that. I wasn't planning on saying anything but it's gonna come out at some point. I haven't said anything about it because I've been terrified to, but I figure there's no good time to say it, so I just said it." Sarah McLachlan
McLachlan, who did a lot of work with the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach program, which funds music lessons for disadvantaged children, was awarded the O.C. (Officer of the Order of Canada) on October 21, 1999, for her services to music and charities.
"Happiness is like a cloud. If you stare at it long enough, it evaporates." Sarah McLachlan
"I've learned to trust myself, to listen to truth, to not be afraid of it and to not try and hide it." Sarah McLachlan
At the tender age of 4, Sarah McLachlan began singing and playing the ukulele. During her school years, she regularly took piano, guitar and singing lessons.
“I was a pretty insecure kid, didn't have a lot of friends, and was picked on a lot, and music gave me confidence.” Sarah McLachlan
At age 17, McLachlan fronted a short-lived rock band called “The October Game,” one of whose songs, "Grind," can be found on the independent Flamingo Records release “Out of the Fog” and the CD “Out of the Fog Too.” She was offered a recording contract with the Vancouver-based independent record label Nettwerk after performing in her band's first concert at Dalhousie University. She was sign to the label for two years after completing her studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
The following year saw the release of McLachlan's debut album, "Touch" (1988), which was popular in alternative rock circles. The album that spawned the singles "Vox," "Ben's Song" and "Steaming" went platinum in her home country and gold in the U.S. After signing to Arista Records, “Touch” was re-released in 1989 by both labels. It featuring several remixed songs and a new track.
McLachlan's sophomore album, "Solace" (1991), became the album that first made her a star in Canada. It yielded the hit singles "The Path of Thorns (Terms)" and "Into the Fire" and was certified double platinum in Canada. It also received favorable reviews outside her country and was certified gold in the U.S. In the following year in October, McLachlan released a live recording called "Live EP," which documents a concert she performed in September of that year in Harbourfront, Toronto.
"Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" (1994) proved to be McLachlan's breakthrough album internationally. It spun off the singles "Possession," "Hold On," "Good Enough" and "I Will Remember You," which was used for "The Brothers McMullen" soundtrack. The album was a huge hit, receiving five times platinum certification in Canada and tree platinum in the U.S.
McLachlan followed it up with the next year's album, "The Freedom Sessions," which was released in two versions, a standard CD and an enhanced CD containing CD-ROM bonus material. Besides consisting of unreleased alternative versions and remixes of McLachlan's recordings, the album also features a cover version of "Ol' 55" by Tom Waits. It went platinum in Canada and gold in the U.S.
In 1996, McLachlan released a compilation album, "Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff," featuring tracks that she recorded for film soundtracks, remixes of her songs, and material that she recorded in collaboration with other artists. She embarked on the Lilith Fair concert tour, the first all female performer concert tour that lasted 3 summers from 1997 to 1999, and her bestselling album "Surfacing" (1997) was released. The album cemented her status as a mainstream pop star and produced the successful singles "Building a Mystery," "Sweet Surrender," "Adia," and "Angel.” It also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album and won the Best Pop Instrumental Performance award for the track "Last Dance" at the Grammy Awards of 1998.
On June 15, 1999, McLachlan released another live album, "Mirrorball," which achieved three times platinum status in the U.S. and five times in Canada. In June 2003, she released "Remixed," a collection of various dance club versions of her songs remixed by such DJs as William Orbit, DJ Tiësto, BT, and Rabbit in the Moon.
"When you look up afterglow in the dictionary, it is defined as 'the glow or light that remains once the sun is gone.’ You're used to this bright, shiny beautiful glow but the moment the sun disappears, all of a sudden you have to readjust everything. It's a very transitional moment. A lot of these songs are about transition...the turning over of the rock, what's underneath, the murky, shadowy uncertainty where everything looks very different." Sarah McLachlan
That same year in November, McLachlan released her first album of new material in six years, "Afterglow." It was a big success in North America, peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Canadian charts. It also rose to #33 in the U.K., becoming her biggest success there thus far, and the top 50 in Australia in 2004. The lead single "Fallen" rose to the top ten on the Adult Top 40 Billboard charts and a remix rose to the top ten on the United States dance charts. It also spawned the follow-up singles "Stupid" and "World On Fire." The album earned her five Juno Awards in Canada, including Album of the Year, Pop Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Pop Vocal Album field in 2005. It went two times platinum in the U.S. and five times platinum in Canada. In 2004, McLachlan released a live CD and DVD package, "Afterglow Live." Her 2004 Afterglow Tour hit such countries as the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Norway.
"Bloom: Remix Album," which features ten remixed McLachlan songs, hit the music stores on September 6, 2005. Afterward, she released the download-only "iTunes Originals – Sarah McLachlan" (2006), which included interviews, new versions of pre-existing songs not released on any other CD, and original songs that have been released on previous CDs. She also released a two-disc expanded version of her 1999 release, "Mirrorball: The Complete Concert," and the Grammy-nominated holiday album "Wintersong," which includes contributions from Jim Creeggan of Barenaked Ladies and a duet with Jazz musician Diana Krall. The latter spawned the singles "River," "Happy Xmas (War is Over)," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." It debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 42 and later peaked at number seven on the chart. It was certified platinum in the U.S. and two times platinum in Canada. Still in 2006, McLachlan released a holiday album called "Live from Etown: 2006 Christmas Special" in December.
In 2007, McLachlan appeared in a TV commercial for ASPCA, an organization that helps find homes for abused and neglected animals and for OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
On April 29, 2008, McLachlan released "Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff Volume 2," which rose to #44 in the U.S. and #2 in Canada. She will release a greatest hits album, "Closer: The Best of Sarah McLachlan," on October 7, 2008. It was preceded by the lead single "U Want Me 2."
A talented artist, McLachlan has designed her own tour programs and has sold clothing and paintings with her designs. She also released a cookbook titled "Plenty: A Collection of Sarah McLachlan's Favourite Recipes," which she co-wrote with Jaime Laurita.
Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Sierra Award, Best Song, "Charlotte's Web" (for the song "Ordinary Miracle," shared with David A. Stewart and Glen Ballard), 2006
Grammy Awards: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, “I Will Remember You,” 1999
Juno Awards: Songwriter of the Year (along with Pierre Marchand), 1998
Juno Awards: Single of the Year, “Building A Mystery,” 1998
Grammy Awards: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, “Building A Mystery,” 1997
Grammy Awards: Best Pop Instrumental Performance, “Last Dance,” 1997
Gemini: Best Performance in a Variety Program or Series, "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Live," 1995
Juno Awards: Best Music Video, “Into The Fire,” 1992