We caught up with Sarah Blasko to chat relationships and insecurities

Words by Bianca O'Neill

In perspective.

It seems completely appropriate that Sarah Blasko’s latest album is called Depth of Field. Like the photography term it’s named after, often the reality of life can be blurred by a focus on one perspective – a life of limited experience.

In a wide-ranging chat that veered delightfully off-topic to encompass the human condition and self-identity, we talked through the reality of life after kids, how her creative process was enhanced by film, and the fluidity of human nature.  

Depth of Field is a darker album for you, lyrically. Was the darker side of relationships an inspiration?

The album is a bit broader than [relationships]. It’s about the veneer that people use as they carry themselves through life – and how the ‘behind closed doors’ version of a person [can be different].

I’m really intrigued by change… I think people who really know themselves and are strong of character are less changeable if you put them in different circumstances. It’s really about human nature, and how it changes, and how it’s pretty fluid. 

Do you think human nature changes over time as you get older?

It’s interesting how age does change people – because they haven’t done the things they wanted to do in life, or their circumstances have changed really drastically.

People really do change with time. I don’t know if it’s true – but it’s like how you completely regenerate [your cells], and technically you’re a different person every 15 years or something like that. You’re actually, physically, a different person.

In the video for ‘Never Let Me Go,’ you worked with Luke McLean Stephenson. The black and white sometimes-farce sometimes-unhinged story of a woman who essentially locks her partner away to ensure he never leaves actually weirdly connected with me…

It’s not like it’s some autobiographical thing about my everyday life now. That’s what I love about music – you can just dramatise some fleeting thing, and you can write about it, and make it into this huge story or drama. It’s this place to jump in from. You can make it as big as you want.

‘Never Let Me Go’ is very tongue-in-cheek. I always find it interesting that people who are really insecure in relationships are always the people who end up treating [their partner] the worst. They’re the ones that end up cheating or treating their partner terribly – because they’re the ones who are insecure.

I also thought it was kind of funny that it [brings in] that fear of ageing. I’m not sure it was intentional, or a fluke, but I thought it was funny.

Does film inspire your music?

Film is generally really inspiring to me – and the use of music in film… I think when you’re looking for inspiration, and you’re looking for a space that conjures up some thought and feeling, then film is a good tool.

We used films that didn’t have any dialogue, films that were visual explorations of things – and it really helped. It just created a mood.

For me, ‘Never Let Me Go’ explores the insecurity that builds in relationships over time, as you start to unravel as your ‘real’ self. Is this an album about exploring vulnerability?

Yeah. I wanted to explore the nature of identity. The record isn’t all about me, but to write about something with conviction, it has to start with where you’re at. I was really questioning my own identity, and who I thought I was – I really changed, particularly after having a kid and having a family life.

I think people lie when they say that [having kids] doesn’t affect your personal identity, because you suddenly feel like your upbringing all comes into play in your present day life and you can’t escape it. So I was really feeling those identity issues… then I just became obsessed with thinking about, ‘what is this construct of identity?’

Did that rock your sense of self?

When you realise you don’t actually know yourself… well, I felt quite confident that I knew who I was. I think it can shift really quickly, depending on what happens. You realise your insecurities quite quickly.

Depth Of Field is out now, and you can catch Sarah Blasko on tour throughout June.

This article was originally published in Fashion Journal 180. You can read it here.

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