Sara Bareilles released her 4th studio album, The Blessed Unrest, in July 2013. It was led by the hugely popular single “Brave,” and was bookended by two successful tours. But even after the album cycle came to an end after the single “I Choose You” in spring 2014, Sara kept busy. She’d already revealed that she was working on two big projects: A book and a musical.
We got plenty of news about the musical, Waitress, throughout 2014. Sara was writing the music for it, and debuted one of the show’s songs live during her own tour in June. She also made progress on her book, and finished it early in 2015.
The surprise came when Sara suddenly revealed she was working on a new album already. And as quickly as it started, it finished. She completed her album in only a month, and is now getting ready to release all three of her projects in the second half of 2015. Waitress started its run on August 1st, and Sara’s book Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song was to be released on October 6th. Meanwhile, Sara’s 5th studio album, What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress, is set for release on November 6th. The first single, “She Used To Be Mine,” is out now.
It Starts With a Musical Called Waitress
Just when Sara was getter ready to release her fourth studio album, The Blessed Unrest, news broke that she would be working on another project: A musical.
Waitress is an adaptation of the 2007 film of the same name. In June 2013, it was announced that Sara would score the musical – a first for the pop singer. Sara will pen the music and lyrics along with Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel’s book. Barry and Fran Weissler will produce the musical, and Diane Paulus will serve as the director. Waitress was set to be ready for the 2015-2016 Broadway season.
Waitress is about Jenna, a pregnant waitress trapped in an abusive marriage. She longs for a better life, and may find one when a nice doctor comes into town.
“She Used To Be Mine” Performed Live
On July 22, 2014, Sara was playing a show in Raleigh, NC as part of her Little Black Dress tour. She decided to treat fans to a new song from her musical, Waitress. “She Used To Be Mine” is a heart-wrenching ballad that is introspective and sad, yet also empowering.
As Sara describes, “She Used To Be Mine” is written from Jenna’s perspective:
She is this amazing pie genius and she works at this tiny little southern diner, and she’s married to a man she doesn’t love, and she just got pregnant with a baby she doesn’t want. And she is going through a mid-life crisis, and I found myself really connecting with this character and wanting to tell her story, and so I’m gonna sing to you the ballad she sings sort of at the pinnacle of her realizing that she’s not the person that she thought she was.
Watch Sara Bareilles perform “She Used To Be Mine” in Raleigh, NC below:
It doesn’t capture the end of the song, but you can hear Sara’s introductory description of the song at the beginning of this video:
Waitress Gets a Theater Debut Date
On December 11, 2014, Variety confirmed that the musical Waitress will debut on August 1, 2015 in the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Finishing the Book
Back in 2012, book publishers Simon & Schuster announced that they would publishing a book by Sara Bareilles. You can see their press release below:
New York, N.Y., October 25, 2012 – Simon & Schuster has acquired an intimate collection of essays by platinum selling singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. The book will explore Sara’s life as a performer and a songwriter, giving fans a behind-the-scenes perspective of her dramatic rise to fame, and the challenges and triumphs of the creative process.
Bareilles achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the hit single “Love Song,”which reached #1 in 22 countries around the world. She has sold over 1 million records and over 4 million singles in the United States alone, and has been nominated for a Grammy Award three times.
“Sara Bareilles never fails to give us wit, vulnerability and unflinching honesty in her songs,” said Karyn Marcus, Senior Editor of Simon & Schuster who acquired world rights from Laura Nolan at Paradigm. “It is precisely those qualities which will make this book an intimate compelling portrait of an artist in action.”
The book will be beautifully designed, including excerpts from Sara’s journals, replicas of original lyrics and a wealth of personal photos making it a must-have for Bareilles’ fans. The publication date is tentatively scheduled for 2014.
Sara kept fairly quiet about it for the first two years, but finally, in March 2015, her book was complete:
Sara Enters the Studio
Surprise! Admits news of her musical Waitress and her upcoming book, Sara suddenly revealed she had entered the studio to begin recording her next album. It was certainly unexpected, but of course fans were excited. Sara shared plenty of studio pictures during the recording process. Aaron Sterling and Jared Scharff – whom she was working with – also posted some behind-the-scenes instagram shots.
In late April, Sara started tagging her recording photos with #waitress – which is the name of her musical. Is there some overlap in the names here?
And just like that, after only a month in the studio, Sara announced that she was done recording her album. Already!
Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song
In spring 2015, Sara confirmed the title of her long awaited book: Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song. It was set to hit shelves on October 6, 2015. On June 3rd, EW debuted the cover art for the book:
Sara spoke about the differences between writing music and writing a book:
It feels infinitely more vulnerable to speak about my life without the metaphor and mask of music or my singing voice. I tried to be candid. I tried to remember things in an unbiased way. I tried to be at least a little funny…. Sounds Like Me is a collection of stories about my own self-discovery. Each essay is anchored by a song that helped me build a deeped understanding of who I am as an artist and person.
Sara Tells All in Google Hangout: Waitress Album Due in November
On June 10th, Sara treated lucky fans to a Google Hangout. She talked about her new musical, Waitress, her new book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song…. and her new album. Between April and May, Sara quickly recorded her next album, the followup to 2013’s The Blessed Unrest. Sara finished the record in only a month, and now we have some more information about it.
At 32:20 in the Google Hangout, Sara mentioned some important details about her next album:
I went into the studio with Neal Avron, who produced ‘Kaleidoscope Heart’ with me, and I decided that my next record couldn’t be anything other than what I’ve been spending the last two years of my life working on, you know, so closely. So before this show is up and out in the world with a cast album, I wanted to take selections of the material from ‘Waitress,’ and sort of interpret them as Sara Bareilles songs, since that’s what they are. But I’m singing about fish and pies, stuff like that. (Laughs.) It was super fun, it was like, all bets were off in terms of how this record came to life. We had so much fun in the studio.
The songs are little vignettes of moments of the story and moments of what the show is going to be about. And my hope for the record is that people get familiar with the music, and then come to see the show, and feel like they’re at a Sara concert in a small way. Because they’ll sort of know the music and be familiar.
So, it’s coming out in November. And I may or may not be wearing a waitress uniform. (Laughs.) But I had so much fun making it, we did it in like a month, it was quick and dirty, it was awesome. I hope that fans love it. It’s sonically very similar to where we were living with ‘Kaleidoscope Heart,’ which feels like a really, just a soulful place for me. I had so much fun with Neal.
We’ll be releasing little album teasers and behind-the-scenes stuff too. So you guys will get lots of info on that.
In addition to describing the new album, Sara also talked at length about her new musical Waitress, which would opening that August in Boston. She’d been working on the musical for over two years, and the album will be linked with the songs that appear in the show.
Sara also described her new book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song. The chapters in the book are connected to different songs from her catalog, including “Gravity,” “Love Song,” and “Beautiful Girl.” Fans will get a more intimate, confessional, honest look at Sara and the stories behind her songs and life so far. Sara will also do a two week book tour in support of Sounds Like Me this October. She will hit Philadelphia, New York City, New Jersey, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Chicago. More details will be announced soon.
During the Google Hangout, Sara also mentioned some other fun things, such as her aspirations to act and what kinds of things she likes to do in her free time. Watch the whole video above to hear everything.
Sara Performs New Waitress Song, “Take It From An Old Man”
On June 27th, Sara appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion” to talk about her upcoming musical, Waitress. Sara Bareilles and Nadia DiGiallonardo (with Rich Dworsky and The Berkshire Boys) performed some new Waitress songs. In addition to the previously debuted “She Used To Be Mine,” Sara also introduced a new song called “Take It From An Old Man.” Listen below:
More About Waitress, a Photo Shoot, & New Song Titles
On July 8th, Playbill published a new interview with Sara Bareilles. Sara talked about how “She Used To Be Mine” moved her to tears:
I have never had an experience before where I have written a song and now when I hear the song it makes me cry. It’s been a really interesting experience of channeling these characters’ stories but also finding myself as a listener. I feel more like an audience member than a composer. It’s a new role for me.
Sara also noted how different it is for her to write songs for a musical rather than for herself:
If I have ever been cracked open and felt exposed and raw, it’s through this process. I think [it’s] in large part due to the fact that I’m a first-time theatre composer. I’m very aware that I’m stepping into some sacred ground here and wanting to do right by the legacy that’s been set before me. It’s a genre I love and have respect for, but I also want to feel like I can tip my hat to what has come before but also make the storytelling my own.
It’s been an inspired and exciting journey to be on. We’ve maintained that collaborative spirit that I was so intrigued by initially. Our creative team is small. The production team as well as our creative team feels like a chamber piece. Nothing’s gotten too big. It’s all stayed really intimate. That’s been hugely satisfying for me creatively. I didn’t know how deeply I was going to fall in love with this. And two-and-a-half years in it’s by far my favorite thing I’ve ever done.
Sara also talked about how she first started writing music with her older sister and struggling to be heard in a man’s world. Read the rest of the interview at Playbill for more.
In early July, Sara did a Waitress photo shoot, though it is unclear is this is for the musical or for her new album. She also revealed a new song titled “Earl’s Guitar.”
“She Used To Be Mine” & What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress
On September 25th, “She Used To Be Mine” was released as the lead single from Sara’s fifth album, What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress. Many of Sara’s fans had known “She Used To Be Mine” for a while already. Sara debuted the song live in July 2014, and continued to play it during concerts that year. It appears in the new musical called Waitress, for which Sara wrote all of the songs. Waitress began showing in Cambridge, Massachusetts in August; it will go to Broadway next spring.
You can see the lyric video for “She Used To Be Mine” below. It features footage of Sara Bareilles in the studio and performing the song live, as well as scenes from the musical, Waitress. You can buy “She Used To Be Mine” on iTunes or stream it on Spotify now.
Meanwhile, Sara’s new album has an official release date. What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress is set for release on November 6th, a full month after her book hits stores. The album features songs from the musical, and after Waitress debuts on Broadway in spring 2016, the cast will also release an album of the musical’s songs.
During a Reddit chat on September 25th, Sara confirmed that a song called “Like A Table” from Waitress will not appear on her album.
Currently, there’s a lot going on for Sara. Her new musical, Waitress, will was a success in Cambridge and will go to Broadway in 2016, and her personal new book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song, will be in bookstores on October 6th. Meanwhile, Sara’s new album, What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress, will be out on November 6th. It features the lead single, “She Used To Be Mine.” 2015 is a big year for Sara fans!
One thought on “Sara Bareilles – What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress”
Props to you for this great article. So well-written and packed with info!