NMMoT: Sarah Vonderhaar

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This week’s artist to be on the look out for, Sarah Vonderhaar, hails from the Windy City, and recently released her second album P.D.L. (Pretty Damn Lucky) digitally on iTunes and Amazon. The Chicago native was cast into the limelight via reality television over three years ago and she admits, “it’s been hard to get out of the shadow of that and be taken seriously as an artist but I’m working on it.” Sarah indeed is breaking free from that mold, and is maturing as a singer/songwriter with the blues and southern rock feel of “Howling at the Moon.” She adds, “That was actually the reason why I recorded the new album because I want to go more in this direction.”

The song is a welcome departure from the pop-infused first album Are You Listening Now, and “as I get older and understand music more I’m straying away from that more and more” she stresses. Featuring a slide guitar by Dave Uhrich beneath her smoky vocals and sultry lyrics “Howling at the Moon” has an appeal worthy of rotation within commercial radio, and is certainly the stand out track on this new album. Slide guitar “is one of the sexiest instruments” she says, and is currently learning to play which adds credibility to her desire to constantly evolve as an artist and to be taken more seriously.

Seriously though, what you probably don’t know is that Sarah financed P.D.L. and her first album on her own, and in doing so “I’m taking the reins of all my music.” “There’s no one telling me yes you can do that, or no you can’t play that.” Currently she is working her ass off as a bartender, still modeling, and playing gigs all over Chicago to pay for studio time this spring to do just that with a third album. She is also actively pursuing licensing her music commercially, planning an East coast tour with ten dates this Fall, and is set to record a new song and its music video for release on iTunes.

Sarah Vonderhaar "All Mine" rough cut from Isaac Day on Vimeo.

P.D.L. features only five songs, one of which is a live version of the title track, and also includes “All Mine” from her first album Are you Listening Now. The music video for the song was filmed recently in Chicago on flip cameras, and the rough cut is available on vimeo.

Overall, it’s not a question of whether or not Sarah Vonderhaar will “make it” because she already is, and shows no signs of stopping in the pursuit of her dreams. However, I’m still flummoxed by the cover of P.D.L., and hope the playful photo doesn’t mislead her audience and potential new listeners from the direction she’s heading in now. She may be young and fun, but also takes her music and desire to succeed with it very seriously. Sarah has more to offer this world than just a pretty face, and is constantly evolving into the musician she wants to become. Keep an eye on this one.

P.D.L Track Listing

1. Pretty Damn Lucky
2. Howling at the Moon
3. What I’m feeling about you
4. Pretty Damn Lucky (Live)
5. All Mine