Music history is rich with rock bands fronted by dynamic duos. Looking to carry on this yin and yang tradition are two talented young women, singer Emily Armstrong and guitarist Siouxsie Medley, who front Los Angeles’ Dead Sara — an electrifying four-piece rock band whose supercharged music is propelled by Medley’s exhilarating, monster guitar riffs and Armstrong’s powerful, wailing vocals.
The two musicians are a study in contrast onstage: Medley remains rooted in place — a solid, steady anchor for Armstrong’s almost unhinged performance style. A skilled vocal stylist who can handle blues, soul, and folk-rock with equal aplomb, Armstrong can unleash a guttural howl one minute and trill as pretty as a songbird the next. (When asked by the Wall Street Journal recently which female rock singers she admired, legendary Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick namechecked Armstrong, citing her “strong, urgent sound.”)
Dead Sara, which also includes bassist Chris Null and drummer Sean Friday, has attracted major buzz for the ferocious spectacle of its high-octane live performances. Of a January show at The Troubadour, L.A.’s indie-rock tastemaker website Picksysticks.com raved: “You almost forgot you were watching a rock show in the 450-capacity Troubadour and not in a venue like Staples Center that holds thousands when Dead Sara launched into their soon-to-be mega hit ‘Weatherman.’” OC Weekly has praised the band for its “blazing, impassioned classic rock, punk/indie jams, catchy guitar melodies, and songs about not backing down,” while Buzzbands.la noted that Dead Sara’s “strain of primal rock is loud enough to awaken the ghosts in both the indie and metal underworlds, and maybe even get them to dance a bit.”
Having spent much of last year in the studio, Dead Sara are gearing up to unleash the fruits of their labors with a three-song digital release, due February 7th and featuring the explosive first single “Weatherman,” emotionally resonant ballad “Sorry For It All,” and an exclusive acoustic version of “Test My Patience.” Their highly anticipated self-titled debut album is slated to be released on April 10th via the band’s own label, Pocket Kid Records through Fontana/Universal.
Produced by Noah Shain, the music veers effortlessly from melodic, soaring tunes such as “We Are What You Say” and “Whispers & Ashes,” to bruised, power ballads like “Dear Love” and “Face to Face,” to fierce, blaring tracks “Timed Blues,” “Test My Patience,” and “Weatherman.”
“That diversity is what’s honest and real to us,” Medley says. “We love classic rock, blues, folk, metal, punk, gospel, all of it, so we didn’t want to put restrictions on ourselves genre-wise. We just knew we wanted the music to sound really raw and primal, even a bit unsettling.” Lyrically, many of Dead Sara’s songs are survival anthems informed by their struggle to stay true to their vision of being a powerful, uncompromising female-fronted rock band. “Weatherman was one of the first lyrics that I sang when we started writing the song – it was something I had to build the lyrics around. It comes down to predicting your own future by what it is you do today. Creating your own weather per se in standing up for what you believe in.”
“Weatherman” has sunk its teeth into Modern Rock and Active Rock radio and has already scored early adds from top stations KYSR (#1 most requested) in Los Angeles, KTBZ in Houston, WCCC FM in Hartford, CT, (where it is the No. 2 most requested song) WRKN/ New Orleans, KOMP/Las Vegas, KNDD/ Seattle, KRBZ/Kansas City, KCXX/Riverside, WGRD/Grand Rapids, WYBB/Charleston,and 99X in Atlanta. In addition, look for Dead Sara as a featured artist on the Vans Warped Tour 2012, which kicks off June 16th in Salt Lake City.