Sarah Kendall

The first song I remember hearing

Elton John – ‘Bennie And The Jets’

“When my parents would have dinner parties there were certain albums they would play on the record player that I feel very attached to. ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ by Elton John was one of them. Most specifically, the song ‘Bennie And The Jets’. The whole album, besides ‘Jamaica Jerk-Off’, which needs to go and jump in the ocean, and ‘Crocodile Rock’ – I’m not mad about it – it’s all killer, no filler. Two duff tracks on an otherwise masterpiece.”

The first song I fell in love with

The Four Tops – ‘You Keep Running Away’

“My parents had a cassette tape: ‘The Greatest Hits Of The Four Tops’. I didn’t know who The Four Tops were but there was a song called ‘You Keep Running Away’ – and I could not stop listening to it, to the point where my mum came in and said ‘just stop it’. I’d finish the song, rewind it and hit play. My son is on the autism spectrum and I look back at that and think ‘that is such a maddening, repetitive thing as a child’. I was obsessed with it.”

The first album I ever bought

Billy Joel – ‘The Bridge’

“It was the late ‘80s. It wasn’t sweet spot Billy Joel anymore, but it’s still a good album. It’s got a duet with Ray Charles on it. I remember playing it on holidays – I think it punches above its weight in my mind because of that particular summer holiday where I couldn’t stop listening to it. I don’t think it’s a great album – don’t tell Billy Joel I said that, the man’s a genius.”

The first gig I saw

Midnight Oil at Newcastle International Sports Centre, Australia, 1990

“There was an earthquake in Newcastle [Australia], where I grew up, and they had an earthquake relief [concert]. All these Australian bands signed up to do it for free to raise money. Midnight Oil was the headline act and I was really into them. I was in high school. It was a really frightening experience because there wasn’t enough security and there was a real crush towards the front. It could’ve got bad and I was too young to be there, I don’t know why my parents let me go. I was 13 and there was so much drugs and alcohol around and it went on all day. I remember being very frightened, I was so anxious just being in a crowd that size.”

The song that reminds me of home

Hall & Oates – ‘Sara Smile’

“My mum was really into yacht rock, so whenever I hear Hall & Oates, The Doobie Brothers or Steely Dan, it’s real comfort music for me. When I’m really anxious and overwhelmed I do tend to reach for those sort of acts.”

The song I wish I’d written

Antonio Carlos Jobim – ‘Waters Of March (Aguas De Marco)’

“I have no aspirations as a songwriter [but] it’s just the most beautiful song. It’s really emotional. It’s a song that whenever I hear it, I do get a bit choked up. It’s a bunch of snapshots of life but the poetry of it is incredible. One-line sentences that, if you are going to describe life – floorplans, a shot in the night, a fox in the brush, the sound of the wind – it’s like a thousand snapshots of life and it’s really moving.”

The song I do at karaoke

Young MC – ‘Bust A Move’

“Often the song you want to do at karaoke, you start doing it and you go: ‘I cannot vocally do this, I am so out of my depth here.’ The song I find impresses people is ‘Bust A Move’, just because I know the lyrics to all the verses.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Anything by Michael Jackson

“I was given ‘Off The Wall’ for an early-ish birthday, and I could not stop listening to it – it was like crack cocaine. I don’t really know what to do because I still love it, but I’m listening to it and loving it going [cringes – referring to Jackson‘s child sexual abuse allegations]. But I’m gonna have to chuck out a lot of fucking records if I’m gonna do that… all those rock gods and their underage girls. It feels like there is a slight bullshit hypocrisy in me going ‘oh, I won’t listen to ‘Off The Wall’’ – and then I’ll be okay with an Elvis Presley song. When he married Priscilla she was underage… It’s a bit curly. There is something that feels rather selective about our judgement of Michael Jackson above the white artists, dare I say.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Ugly Duckling – ‘A Little Samba’

“I think it was on a Mastercard advert and Usain Bolt was in it, when everyone was obsessed during those Olympics where he was just everywhere. I downloaded it and my kids listened to it non-stop, to the point where I was like: ‘Please, I will give you five pounds if you stop listening to that song.”

‘Frayed’ series two returns to Sky Max and streaming service NOW from Feb 23

The post Soundtrack Of My Life: Sarah Kendall appeared first on NME.


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