Interview with Sarah Holburn from Carousel

Carousel are a UK country band based in Southend-on-Sea in Essex. The foursome joined together in 2015 and have just released their self-titled debut EP. Having listened to the 5 track EP, I have to say that they are a fantastic and welcome addition to the UK country scene and I cannot wait to see them play live in the coming months. Being a site based around the females of the genre, we thought we’d have a chat with the only lady in the band, Sarah, and ask her all about life with Carousel.

Hi Sarah, to start with tell us how Carousel got started as a band? And introduce us to your fellow band members!

Hey! So the story began when Tom, Chris and I were all solo musicians and met on the music scene. Tom and I soon started writing music and releasing it as a duo called ‘Land & Sea’, however we were craving a much bigger sound – which is when we called upon Chris! After jamming and writing a few songs, we realised our voices gelled together really nicely, but we were still lacking something key. That soon came in the form of Toby Shaer, who adds fiddle, cittern and plenty of character to our line-up! I think the fact that we are all really close friends helps us work together to get the best out of our sound.


You’re the only female in a four-piece band! Do you keep the guys in check, or is it the other way around?

As much as I’d like to say I boss the guys around, we are all equals in this format. Although, I do have to check in every once in a while, as they’re not the most organised bunch of people! They all treat me amazingly as the only female, but I love to get stuck in with the band banter – I’m one of the guys really!


Your self-titled debut EP is simply brilliant. How exciting is it to have your music out there?

It’s probably more exciting than it ever could be as we’ve been sitting on this release for so long. We got together two years ago, so it’s been a long time in the making. It’s actually quite a relief to have something ‘out there’ for the world to see, but I know that the process will never stop, and we’ll soon be onto the next project!

As a band you share the vocals. You sing the lead on the beautiful ‘Porcelain’. Give us an insight as to how the song came about.

I started writing ‘Porcelain’ alone with a guitar in my front room. I wanted to create a sense of imagery, describing something really fragile and delicate that can be related to human beings. I live with Tom, so he soon got involved once he’d heard the first portion of the song, and he encouraged me to take the story further. The chorus is a conversation between two people, one asking the other how they wake up in the morning with so much trouble on their shoulders. It’s one of my favourites to perform live as I can really connect with the lyrics.


I’m always fascinated by the song writing process. Do Carousel have a set process when it comes to making new music.

There’s not really a set process at all. With Carousel, we just like to let the music lead the way in whatever path feels natural. We’re all songwriters, so sometimes we write together, and other times we will write alone and bring certain songs to the band for us all to finish as a collective. We’re not precious about who writes what or who sings what – it’s about each individual song and making it the best it can possibly be.

To finish, tell us where our readers can download your E.P. and where can we see Carousel on the road?

Our debut EP can be heard on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music – all the usual places! Physical copies are available on our Bandcamp page, which we package up ourselves and write a personalised note to each person!


The guys and I have got quite a few gigs coming up, including a couple of dates in London, and plenty of shows in Essex where we live. We hope to travel further afield soon! For our full gig listings, visit

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