When we look back at our formative years of walking down the school halls and sitting in a classroom pretending like we don’t want to be anywhere else, it’s important to note that everyone had a different experience. We were all in the exact same moment together, but some kids had it easier than others. Some glided through school untouched, others were the bullies inflicting pain, and the rest were the victims. And Sarah Saint James’ bold and genre switching new single ‘Heather’ is a cinematic reflection of her school experience.
Sarah was one of the victims of a girl we are going to call ‘Heather’, who was once one of her best friends before she betrayed Sarah and spread a nasty and false rumour about her which resulted her to lose all her friends. Finding herself in a really vulnerable time in her life where she was critically ill and hospitalised and her dad simultaneously abandoned her, she had never felt more alone. But however hard the group of mean girls tried to bury her six feet under, she didn’t give in. This song explores that time and celebrates her strength that got her through to the other side where she is now an exceptionally successful creative who is proud of her queerness and who she is. “Every day is a nightmare. Blood red ribbon in your hair. And what the hell have you been through to make you act so cruel?” she sings during the opening verse before getting dark and literal in the chorus; “Heather, would you be better, if I told you just where to dig my grave? Load the gun and take your aim”.
Co-written with Alex Lahey and Jess Ellwood, this pop-punk song is a big departure from her previous dark and glittery pop songs that have to-date filled up her discography. Paying homage to all the bands she obsessed with during her formative years (and still now), there is a euphoric Paramore meets Short Stack energy that radiates through. While the song addresses a dark time in her life, there is a lot of light captured in where she is now. Upon the very first listen you will be immediately obsessed, and if you’re a victim of bullying you will be ready to scream out every lyric with her.
Sarah Saint James is one of the most exciting and important newcomers in the Australian music scene, and ‘Heather’ is another addition of proof to why she will be a name you are only going to hear more and more of.