Sara Bareilles has an expansive discography, spanning not just multiple albums, EPs, and compilations of officially released music, but also demos and live performances of songs that never saw an official release. Today, that list of hidden jams – *ahem*, gems – just grew five songs longer. Last week, a musician named Ryan Dusick uploaded five old demos he recorded with Sara Bareilles.
Ryan Dusick is best known as the original drummer of Maroon 5. He was with the band from their formation as Kara’s Flowers and through the release of Songs About Jane, but left the band in 2006 after sustaining an injury. Ryan is, in some places, credited as having produced “Come Round Soon” on Sara’s debut album, Careful Confessions, released in 2004. He may have played a part in developing her major label debut album, 2007’s Little Voice, as well. Sara thanked him in that album’s liner notes, though he’s not formally credited.
That said, it seems that these five songs may have been recorded either in 2003 for Careful Confessions… or between then and 2007 for Little Voice. Ryan’s YouTube channel describes his various uploads – not all of which involve Sara – as an “assortment of unpublished songs Ryan Dusick has written or co-wrote and recorded.”
So what are these five mysterious old songs? Ryan Dusick uploaded “If I Had My Way,” “Feeling So Gray,” “Blinded,” “Time,” and “One More Night Of This.” All of them are sung entirely or primarily by Sara. Only on the last song, “One More Night Of This,” does Sara share vocal duties.
It’s unclear who wrote these songs. We can only assume that Sara and Ryan composed them together, but we have no verification on that. We also have no verification on when or why these demos were recorded. Our best guess is sometime between 2003 and 2007 for Sara’s first two albums.
Now, without further ado, lets’ dive into each of the newly surfaced old demos.
“If I Had My Way”
First up is “If I Had My Way,” a rather straightforward rock song that represents a distinct departure from Sara’s usual sound. Built on energetic guitar, bass, and drums, Sara sings of wanting her ex back but having little control over the matter. She’s stuck on him, but she’ll have to wait until he decides to return to her. The song features a guitar solo for the bridge – a first among Sara’s discography, but a welcome change. “If I Had My Way” is quite different, but it’s an enjoyable and relatable song.
“Feeling So Gray”
“Feeling So Gray” sounds much more like a Sara Bareilles song, if still a tad more rock than usual. Over a driving beat and chiming guitars, Sara describes a years-long relationship that meets a bump in the road. Her boyfriend has been feeling low lately, and Sara is anxious for him to smile at her again. She describes being unsure of how to feel or what to do, and her struggle with how to handle the situation. “Feeling So Gray” feels more familiar, and would have worked well as an officially released song.
Perhaps the weakest of the bunch is “Blinded,” which is a bit harder to place. Similar to the themes of the previous two songs, Sara sings about a relationship that’s in a rocky place. Does her partner regret the time they’ve wasted together? Is it possible for them to remember and get back to the good times they used to share? The lyrics are good, but “Blinded” may take an extra listen to make its impact.
The best of the demos might actually be “Time.” The music is strong and even a bit ominous as Sara describes being unable to sleep due to being haunted by her ex’s face. She’s regretting the things she said before he left, and on the chorus, she realizes that time softens everything. Still, she continuously must learn things the hard way. Indeed, she wants him back and wishes she could talk to him one more time. On the final choruses, a man – Ryan Dusick? – sings backup. “Time” ends abruptly, like it’s missing a couple seconds, but it’s still a standout among the demos.
“One More Night Of This”
The final demo is “One More Night Of This,” and it’s the only duet. The short song opens with bass and percussion, setting the stage for some gorgeous piano that we can only assume comes courtesy of Sara. Guitar comes in as she sings the first verse, complaining about a guy who keeps calling, making her angry. A man (Ryan Dusick?) sings a one-line pre-chorus before Sara’s chorus about not being able to take any more of this nonsense. Ryan (?) sings the second verse, a bit of a counter-argument to Sara’s initial verse. On the bridge, Sara makes her intentions clear: It’s time to end this roller coaster they’ve become. “One More Night Of This” feels at once the most and least like a Sara song here. The lyrics and piano sound like her, but the rock style and quick delivery feel quite different.
What do you think of the five demos? Which is your favorite? Any guesses when when they were recorded? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Amidst The Chaos
Earlier this year, Sara made her big comeback to (pop) music with the release of her album, Amidst The Chaos, in April. It launched the singles “Armor” and “Fire,” plus promo singles “No Such Thing” and “Saint Honesty.” Though, truth be told, some of our favorite songs weren’t even singles. Check out our track-by-track review of the stellar album and be sure to listen to it once you’ve overdone listening to the new/old demos.
In August, Sara Bareilles released a new EP, What’s Not Inside: The Lost Songs From Waitress. It followed Sara’s 2015 album, What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress, which featured songs she wrote for the hugely popular Broadway musical, Waitress. The new EP features 6 songs that didn’t make it into the musical, plus Sara’s show-stopping ballad, “She Used To Be Mine.”
Ever busy, that’s not all Sara’s been working on. She’s also currently developing a TV series called Little Voice. Yes, it’s named after her debut album and the title track that wasn’t on it. Sara performed her song “Little Voice” back in March upon announcing the forthcoming series. We’re hoping it’ll get a proper release in conjunction with the show, expected to premiere in 2020
Finally, Sara is currently finishing up her Amidst The Chaos tour. It began in Detroit on October 5th, and will end next week in Atalanta on November 26th.
More From Sara
Enjoy the newly discovered old Sara Bareilles demos recorded with Ryan Dusick. As always, keep checking back here for all the latest music news.
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