Australian songwriter Sarah Blasko arrived in the U.S. in 2005 with a pedigree that couldn't be ignored. Trailing a list of ARIA Award nominations in the categories of Best Album, Best Female Artist, Best Breakthrough Artist, and Best Pop Release, she distinguished herself with an ethereal, lovelorn delivery alongside graceful arrangements and an overall somber, inward-looking disposition.
Raised by missionary parents, Blasko sang her first songs in church alongside her tone-deaf mother, but the influences that came across more readily in her music derived from the '80s radio and television she heard as a child: Prince, David Bowie, and Eurythmics. Those popular acts, combined with the composers her professor father introduced her to -- Rachmaninov, Schubert, and Bach -- formed a pleasing musical jumble she would later pick apart and repackage into digestible, brainy pop. In high school, Blasko led a jazz and blues-influenced band with her sister. That band soon dissolved and other groups would follow, but within the space of a few years Blasko was determinedly a solo act.
An introductory EP, the six-song Prelusive, arrived in 2004 and was routinely referred to as "homespun." But its promise propelled Blasko, who returned later that year with the full-length The Overture & the Underscore. After racking up fans in Australia, she made her way to Hollywood. Following the album's 2005 release in America, Blasko embarked on tours with the likes of Ray LaMontagne and Martha Wainwright. Her second full-length album, What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have, was released in Australia in 2006, debuting at number seven on the ARIA chart. Two years later, she decamped to Sweden and began working with Björn Yttling, who produced 2009's As Day Follows Night. It climbed to number five in Australia and was repackaged with the 15-track Live at the Forum a year later.
Blasko returned in 2012 with another Top Ten album, I Awake, which saw her backed by the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra. Recorded in 2013, I Awake: Live at Sydney Opera House followed in 2014. Blasko's fifth studio album, Eternal Return, arrived in late 2015. Her fourth straight Top Ten solo LP, it peaked at number six. The making of her sixth LP was documented for Blasko, an hourlong film that aired on Australia's ABC in November of 2017. The resulting album, Depth of Field, followed in early 2018. ~ Tammy La Gorce & Marcy Donelson