Los Angeles based, singer-songwriter Sarah Lassez has always been a citizen of the world. By age 14 she had experienced life in France, Canada, Australia and the United States. But with deep familial ties and a unique love of the city, her heart and heritage belong to Paris. Lassez’s noteworthy lineage goes back to her famous artistic great grandparents. Her great grandfather, Louis Marcoussis, was a master etcher & cubist painter who taught Miro print making. “I have postcards sent to him from Picasso and Man Ray and invitations from Gertrude Stein.” Additionally, her grandfather, Jacques Besse, was a talented musician who composed songs for Edith Piaf, one of France’s greatest stars. Carrying on the tradition as an already well established arthouse movie actress and memoir writer, Lassez is now adding musician to her resume. Her debut EP, Paris In Tears, is available May 12th, 2017.
Paris In Tears opens with its title track. The song’s simple yet fulfilling piano intro becomes elevated with the addition of an emotive violin. The mood is perfectly Parisian with a touch of what I would describe as hybrid, carnivalesque ballet. Sad but captivatingly elegant, “Paris In Tears” is highlighted by Lassez’s sultry vocals before things lighten up on the feel good, “Mermaid Serenade.” A contagious melody, a ukulele and a mermaid as the song’s star all give it the vibe of musical theater. “Room With a View” is a piano and violin driven track that tells the story of lost love and longing for how things once were while maintaining a sense of positivity. It simultaneously looks at the past and to the future of a relationship that left its mark and it is easily one of the best songs on the EP.
Lassez once said “I am especially inspired by the music, art and culture of the golden age of Paris in the 1920-30s,” and while that footprint is all over Paris In Tears, nowhere is it more evident than on “Ziegfeld Girl.” A jazz based ode to the cabaret era, Lassez brings in several different instruments to create a fantastically constructed piece that once again balances a darker undertone with light at the end of the tunnel. Paris In Tears closes with “Time Killer.” Between the music creating a subtle sense of time passing and the often humorous lyrics, “Time Killer” paints quite a picture. “Time killers/They slay the days and murder nights/But time won’t die.” Despite listing all kinds of people, places, things and activities that try to kill time, they can not because life always perseveres.
Sarah Lassez’s Paris In Tears is an impressive introduction to her musical side. It is highly artistic, but never pretentious, complex at times, but always relatable and often sad but simultaneously gorgeous. Lassez believes that there is “dark beauty in melancholia,” and with Paris In Tears, she proves that to be true.