This Friday, March 19th, sees the release of Shropshire based singer/songwriter Sabine’s latest single “How Do You Sleep At Night?”. A song that I first heard performed live at her Camden Chapel show in late 2019 when I called it “particularly impressive” in my review (https://www.bellesandgals.com/2019/12/16/sabine-live-at-camden-chapel-12th-december-2019/) the planned March 2020 release was inevitably delayed but it has been worth the wait to finally hear the studio version which was recorded live with a full band in the summer of 2019. The accompanying video was filmed at time of recording and before social distancing was even a thought… remember those days??
Sabine began writing the song five years ago, and as has been the case with her previous releases it addresses a very relatable subject. But unlike the trademark soulful ballads we have heard from her in the past this is a comparatively uptempo song with a lot more attack and vitriol in places. Its focus is a relationship full of broken promises which inevitably comes to an end, addressed throughout to the ex who Sabine knew wasn’t free to love her in the first place. A solo write, lyrically Sabine always manages to express herself so eloquently and this song is no exception. She wrestles with mixed emotions, including wondering if he will try to claim it was her who led him astray and resulted in them crossing the line. He has already moved on to someone new, something she knew would happen, the entire situation raises a myriad of thoughts and questions and as per the song title she specifically asks “How do you sleep at night”?
When it comes to vocal delivery this song showcases so much emotion and control throughout from Sabine, who’s voice can explode from nowhere and then pull back again with similar ease. Her lower range is particularly impressive as well as unusual in this day and age it seems to me…it always gives me chills!
It is backed by a stunning arrangement which rises and falls in a similar fashion as the song progresses, a minimal acoustic guitar backbeat kicking the track off and adding incredible tension while it climaxes with a screaming electric guitar riff before everything comes back down again for the final few contemplative bars. In between I particularly enjoyed the addition of viola and oh-so-delicate piano, beautiful!
A complex release on every level, this is a hugely impressive addition to Sabine’s catalogue.