Sarah Dunn Band recently released their new album, Unbridle Me, and the nine tracks mark welcomed growth from the group’s lead singer and chief songwriter, Sarah Dunn. The project includes a real-life murder ballad ripped straight from the headlines as well as the group’s latest single, “Figure It Out,” which marks the first ballad the band has had as a single. Throughout Unbridle Me, Sarah says her hope is that the music will reach listeners in a positive way.
As Sarah explains, “Figure It Out” took a while to write as it is a culmination of her experiences and stories from others. A tale of a woman struggling to get past her former relationship she questions, “How could you move on so fast with your life when I can’t even close my eyes at night?”
“It’s especially personal because I’ve been in that situation where as much as you may want a relationship to work, or you know you’re willing to work for it, it falls apart nonetheless,” Sarah tells Nash Country Daily. “It can be one of those things where you’re still reaching and the other party is starting to move on. It’s a very difficult thing, but it’s something I think everybody feels at one point in their life.”
Sarah dug deep for the release and wrote every song featured on Unbridle Me. She says it was important for her to grow as a songwriter and not be afraid to explore different subjects and to be raw and vulnerable in her writing. The album includes strong female characters on songs like barn burner “A Cautionary Tale” where she sings about an outlaw female making her own decisions in life. A memorable song, Sarah credits her mother for her sense of boldness.
“She’s been one of my biggest champions in my life and I always bounce ideas off of her,” Sarah explains. “She’s given me a sense of boldness about sharing real things, or sharing things that are real and possibly personal to me. That’s a deep well that you can draw from. She really has given me confidence. She helped me through times when I felt very discouraged. She’s just one of those people that never gives up and never gives up on a person.”
On “The Ballad of Ellie Nesler” the selfless love of another mother is showcased, this time Ellie Nesler who famously made headlines for taking the law into her own hands when she shot and killed her son’s abuser. Sarah says everything she penned within the song happened to Nesler and her love of story-songs helped her get the point across.
“The story itself of what happened to her in her life and to her son, it was so gripping to me because I have a very close relationship with my mom and it’s the story about a mother who would go to any lengths to protect her child,” Sarah explains.
On the song Sarah sings, “There ain’t no volunteers to walk that mile in Ellie’s shoes.” As she shares, one really doesn’t know how she will react until put in that position. It is this lyric that drives the song home.
Sarah says she appreciates hearing strong female characters in country music and it’s women like her mother and grandmother that inspire her to continue forging her own path within the genre.
“I think it’s important to remind women that they can do anything and everything that they set out to do,” she concedes. “I’m glad to put out songs about strong women because I think it’s important for women to be tough.”
Photo courtesy Susan Niles PR