Sarah Elizabeth Foster Biography

Houston native Sarah Elizabeth Foster began studying music at the age of four. A classically trained vocalist, pianist and ballerina, she grew up performing in church and school choirs, winning numerous awards. But along the way, Sarah found it was other genres of music that truly inspired her. After perfecting her vocal technique with a degree in music, singing in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, Sarah embarked on extensive travels throughout Asia and Europe expanding her cultural horizons. All this being an irrepressible quest to turn towards the music that inspired her and to fulfill her ultimate dream of a life as a singer/songwriter in New York City. Where now, for the first time, Sarah unearths words and melodies that are all her own.

Gardening From The Ground Up Part 1 (January 12th, 2010 [Studio Sarah Records]) is Sarah’s first collection of deeply charged tunes. Filled with raw emotion and wistful reflection, her songs are the product of a vision almost stalled when, after high school and the years of accomplishments that came so naturally, Sarah was challenged to persevere through the intensive vocal therapy necessary to arrive at what her doctors called a “miraculous recovery” when she was diagnosed with a benign, vocal chord polyp.

Sarah’s resolve is a blessing for those who hear her debut record, a sound we don’t hear often. Gardening From The Ground Up Part 1 hints liberally at Sarah’s stated influences which are rare for a singer-songwriter (Dusty Springfield, Sam Cooke, Judy Garland, and Edith Piaf) and her exceptionally broad vocal range — moving effortlessly from crystal clear purity to shuttering vibrato — places her in a league with contemporaries such as Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Norah Jones and Feist. The record is an unusual acoustic blend of 60‘s-inspired pop, fresh folk and classical motifs wrapped around Sarah’s deep, pure vocals and emotionally rich, informed lyrics.

Although a recent transplant to NYC, Sarah didn’t let being a new kid on the block compromise the vision she had for the Gardening From The Ground Up Part 1 record. Soon after coming to town, Sarah found and enlisted an impressive group of collaborators to help bring the recording to life, including up-and-coming producer Assaf Spector and Grammy Award-winners Adam Ayan, of Gateway Mastering and Don Clark of Invisible Creature. Sarah’s efforts culminated in a final product of a quality not usually attained by new independent artists.

Gardening From The Ground Up Part 1 opens with “Wake Up,” a haunting journey through a desperate conversation in a young girl’s mind. The title track, “Gardening from the Ground Up,” contains a metaphor for more than just a romantic relationship - - Sarah is trying to rid her garden of its one remaining weed! “Missing You Now,” is a welcome change of pace at the heart of the record - written as a waltz, it’s a dreamy song nostalgic for a long-distance heartache. Contrary to the lush orchestrations of the rest of the record’s tunes, “Be My Friend Always” is Sarah’s soulful serenade about friendship. The record’s closer, “Let’s Go Away,” allows for a fantasy escape.

Not only does Gardening From The Ground Up Part 1 show Sarah as an accomplished singer and songstress, but it reflects her business savvy as well. In fact, it was the laborious creation of the record that provided Sarah with the legs she needed to properly form her own label to release it. Sarah also brings her beliefs and values to the project in other creative ways: all of the CD’s covers have been printed with recycled materials; her t-shirts are made of organic cotton; and the record has been released under a Creative Commons license allowing for the creation of non-commercial derivative works at will. Additionally, Sarah donates 1% of album sales and publishing proceeds to 1% For The Planet: a non-profit organization by which business owners give 1% of company sales to environmental charities of their choice.

While Sarah Elizabeth Foster may be an exceptionally busy woman, as the title Gardening From The Ground Up Part 1 suggests, there is more music to come. “The process I went through to write these early songs made me realize I had so much more to learn about myself and life; it was truly humbling. That is how I began the journey to become a student of life, a beautiful adventure that I continue to this day,” Sarah says. While promoting her latest release and playing shows around the Northeast, Sarah has already begun to record that continuing adventure as Gardening From The Ground Up Part 2, due in late 2010.
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