There’s nothing like a brush with death to give you a new lease of life.
For Swedish artist Sara Steele, it was a life-threatening bout of meningitis which left her with epilepsy, that changed her whole perspective on music.
“For a long time I pushed away my natural instincts, impulsively grabbing on to stuff that I didn’t really want to do just so that I could have some kind of release,” Steele explains. “The whole experience has made me less cynical and inspired me in my process of creating and appreciating.”
The result is a groundbreaking album, aptly titled ‘Paroxysm’- which means an outburst of emotion. The record, due out June 13, has been prefaced with a handful of devastatingly candid singles that have already made waves in mainstream media.
Channeling the surging synths and industrial beats of Banks, and the sultry vocals of Lana Del Rey, Steele produces an electro-noir sound that’s familiar, yet unique. Her brand of retrospective slow burners are buoyed by waves of melancholy but anchored by the weight of her life-affirming lyrics.
Hailing from the fertile pop landscape of Sweden, it’s no surprise Steele is penning game-changing songs. Unlike the pop prodigies who came before her, she doesn’t crave the spotlight though. Opting for illustrated artwork over a photo was just one of the ways Steele is maintaining a veil of mystery. But, having already garnered attention from the likes of Rolling Stone and Billboard, it seems like a matter of time before she becomes a familiar face.