A gifted singer and a versatile pianist with no formal training, Sara Bareilles burst onto the pop scene with a naturally skilled voice that ranged from powerful and soulful to sweet and gentle, earning her instant comparisons to Fiona Apple and Norah Jones. At age 18, she left the Redwood forests of her hometown, Eureka, CA, in pursuit of the big city lights of Los Angeles. Although she attended UCLA’s Communication Studies program, Bareilles spent the majority of her spare time studying her new environment and writing poetry and songs about the busy surroundings.
After graduating, she spent the next three years performing those songs at open-mic nights, slowly building her confidence as a musician before playing local venues and festivals. In 2003, she co-produced her first demo, Careful Confessions, and became enthralled with recording techniques. Eager to go back to the studio and create a second full-length album, she started shopping her CD around and signed a deal with Epic Records in April 2005. Producer Eric Rosse took her under his wing the following February and the two spent a little over a year perfecting the orchestration — nearly half of the songs had formerly appeared on Careful Confessions and a new batch of tracks was carefully constructed in order to make her first major-label release as strong as possible. The lyrical themes of the album, entitled Little Voice and released in July 2007, covered her past relationships, insecurities, and inner battles with trying to trust her instincts. The single “Love Song,” after being promoted by both iTunes and Rhapsody, made the album a hit; both single and album reached the Top Ten. – All Music Guide
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