July 22, 2022 – Toronto, ON: Today, Canadian singer-songwriter, producer and mixing engineer Sarah Shafey has released Caught Out The Door, the third single off her forthcoming album Blackbox Universe, out September 23.
Sarah Shafey is shifting genre-gears from the electropop feel of her first two singles to a high-energy, alt-rock track in Caught Out The Door, which won Sarah a gold award for Best Alt. Rock Music at the LIT Talent Awards. Drawing on influences from Pearl Jam, The Cranberries and Soundgarden, Sarah’s impeccable vocal melodies are surrounded by crisp production. This commanding rock anthem is about feeling rejected, letting it out in a cathartic release and moving on.
“All we want as human beings is to be loved and appreciated,” explained Shafey. “When you feel rejected for just being yourself, it’s one of the worst feelings. Stay positive and let it all go!”
Throughout Sarah’s writing experience she explores different versions of herself, which she has characterized through the singles being released leading up to her fourth album. With the first single, Competitor, we saw the character Princess Layla (an Egyptian Princess) visualized through the imagery for the single as well as in Act 1 of Shafey’s comic book series. With the second single, Pick Up The Phone, we were introduced to Suzy Q (an adoring wife) for Act 2 of the series. Today, Shafey reveals Act 3, Boss Babe, the character Sarah relates to most.
“We all have different versions of ourselves so I felt the need to explore who they were,” says Sarah. “Some of it was a shedding of skin that I don’t want anymore and other elements are more closely aligned with who I am now and want to be more like.”
On her fourth album, Blackbox Universe, Sarah Shafey delivers her most theatrical album to date. Filled with big, bold, heavy production, this multi-genre collection includes influences of electronic, pop and rock. Shafey brilliantly weaves themes of unveiling different versions of ourselves, women empowerment and science fiction, while captivating listeners with her seamless vocals and strong production.
As an advocate for women’s empowerment, Blackbox Universe is a homage to celebrating the different facets of womanhood. Sarah is proud to have co-produced, co-engineered and co-mixed the album with Hill Kourkoutis; the first female to win a JUNO award in the Recording Engineer of the Year category (2022). Hill has produced for and played with some of Canada’s most notable artists including The Weeknd, July Talk, Serena Ryder, Madison Violet, SATE, Good Lovelies, Dear Rouge, Adam Cohen and more. Mastered by Kristian Montano of Montano Mastering, the album features musicians Sekou Lumumba on drums (Serena Ryder, Bedouin Soundclash, Kardinal Offishall, Thornley), cellist and Grammy-nominated songwriter Michael Peter Olsen (Drake, Arcade Fire, Funeral, K-OS) and well-known Toronto guitarist Mike Celia.
From her previous three albums and a decade-long history in the Toronto music scene, Sarah Shafey has been praised for her sophistication and professional production. She’s been described as powerful, influential and independent, with each release receiving rave reviews throughout the Toronto community and across internet music blogs. Although she has mixed albums for bands across genres in her studio Squeaky Clean Records, her personal sound has grown over the past decade from piano folk-pop, to emotive alternative and grungy shoegaze rock, to the present with the pop, electronic, and rock vibes of her forthcoming release. Along with her powerhouse team, Shafey has created a transcendent soundscape with Blackbox Universe, confirming her talent goes far beyond one specific genre.