To me, at least, Sara Jackson-Holman came out of nowhere. The 21-year-old singer, songwriter and pianist — from Bend, but currently attending Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. — played a local gig back on New Year’s Day, and I got word of it just in time to write this article about her for GO! Magazine.
I had heard Jackson-Holman’s name before, but had no idea before I called her up for an interview that she had not only written a bunch of songs, but also attracted the attention of Portland-based label Expunged Records (home to Blind Pilot) and recorded her debut album. At the time, she was waiting for the final version to show up in the mail so she could give it one last listen and send it off for mastering.
Last week, that album, “When You Dream,” showed up in my inbox, with a release date of May 25. Along with it came a press release full of words like “melodic” and “sultry” and “summer classic,” plus comparisons to huge names like Feist, Adele and Norah Jones. The thing is, I don’t think it’s disingenuous at all to say those words and comparisons are not that far off. The album is very, very good, and in some places stunning.
Expunged was generous enough to allow me to post the album’s lead track, “Come Back to Me,” as a free download for Frequency readers. Grab it now, though, because in 30 days, I’m taking it down.
Presumably, Jackson-Holman will play at least a gig or two in her home town this summer, and I’ll be sure to let you know the details when they come my way.