Singer-songwriter Sarah Peacock once again tells vivid, meaningful stories with little regard for genre designation on new album Burn the Witch, out March 27.
For a quick taste, check out album cut "Mojave," premiering today (Feb. 10) via Wide Open Country.
"'Mojave' uses desert tones and imagery to paint the scene of a toxic relationship, and the whole song is kind of this personification of a real person who hurt me in the past," Peacock says. "Leaning more country on this wasn't intentional, but It feels right though, and I love that this track is one of the more straight forward, groovy songs on my new record. It's a little country with a Tom Petty 'Learning to Fly' kind of vibe."
Peacock's years of running in tight-knit songwriting circles made "Mojave" possible.
"I wrote 'Mojave' with my friend, Tim Montana, at a BMI songwriter festival in Florida," she adds. "We met accidentally thanks to whoever put us on a round together. We were hanging out in my beach condo, and Tim just started playing this catchy four- chord progression. We ran with it. Some magical gummies may or may not have been involved."
Hard to pin down songs that might've been labeled as rock or folk in years past aren't just allowed within Americana: They're welcome with open arms. In Peacock's case, such songs built the loyal following that helped her bounce back from a 2016 tour bus fire on the West Coast and crowdfund Burn the Witch.
Before moving to Nashville in 2001 to study commercial music at Belmont University, Peacock grew up in a very restrictive Christian environment in Lawrenceville, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb. Such Country icons as Linda Ronstadt and Johnny Cash and vilified heavy rockers Led Zeppelin and Metallica weren't exactly held on high each Sunday, separating Peacock from her future influences. Fortunately for us, she was a fast learner once she got exposed to worldly music.
"I am an absolutely huge Reba McEntire fan," Peacock says. "I love her control and the finesse she's got in her voice. I've learned a lot from listening to her. And, nowadays Brandi Carlile is breaking the country scene wide open. And she's way up there for me too in terms of influences. I absolutely love her. And let's not forget Dolly!"
Just as McEntire and Parton have always kept their personal faith intact while maneuvering the country music business, Peacock has found the needed support to embrace the story-driven contemporary Christian music from her high school years while practicing self-love and preaching acceptance.
"A huge factor for me in coming to grips with my faith and sexuality was that I discovered the progressive Christian community during this time," she says in her artist bio. "I learned that what I was told to believe about the Bible and the LGBT community isn't exactly what the Bible really says when you read it with the full scope of the original text and a full understanding of the social and religious culture of the time. I was told that you couldn't be gay and a Christian. Discovering that God really did make me who I am on purpose and learning that He didn't want me to change gave me the freedom to be who I was more comfortably."