TVD Video Premiere:
Eric Bazilian, “Sarah When She’s Sleeping”

Awaking from a nap to someone staring at you can be a little creepy. But it’s all benevolence and love in Eric Bazilian’s jangly new single “Sarah When She’s Sleeping,” getting its video premiere today at The Vinyl District.

The co-founder of The Hooters, whose songwriting has included Joan Osborne’s enduring “One of Us,” Bazilian says the new song is meant to be “a shameless declaration of love and redemption, for and by a good and kind woman. He says he’s trying to convey “the sense of home that I get when I see my partner peacefully at rest and hear the sweet sounds she makes when she’s there.”

That explains the bit of soft snoring at the beginning and end of the succinct single, but it’s all catchy power pop in-between, with Bazilian on guitars, bass, keyboards, and the mandolin-adjacent mandola. Drums are from Roman Ratej, recorded in Slovenia by Martin Stibernik.

It’s the fourth in a series of singles that precede Bazilian’s new solo album expected later this hear—his first since 2002’s A Very Dull Boy. (He released What Shall Become of the Baby with Swedish collaborator Mats Wester in 2012.)

Bazilian still lives in Pennsylvania, where the Hooters once sprang and notably played Live Aid in 1985. But he often records in Sweden, where he has a basement studio. It’s been in Stockholm where he’s been riding out the pandemic while working with developing artists like Slovenia’s Manu and Philly’s Alexis and the Medicine.

The lively, animated collage video for “Sarah When She’s Sleeping” is by Haley Monson of Brazil and is her third consecutive effort for Bazilian; she also did the ones for the two singles that preceded it, “Heaven Ain’t Gonna Save Us” and “I Miss Everything.”

“It seemed apropos to let her continue with ’Sarah,’” he says. “Once again, Haley was able to channel my thoughts into a visual representation”—even if it doesn’t depict the actual Sarah.

“The idea of using actual images of the real Sarah came up, but we agreed it would be a more universally accessible story leaving the filmmaker to her own devices in terms of finding content,” Bazilian says. And, he adds, “though none of them bear a physical resemblance to my Sarah, her spirit is in all of them.”

It’s been a long time relationship, as Sarah was there, for example when he wrote his Grammy nominated “One of Us” in the mid ’90s, a tune that has since been covered by dozens of artists, from Prince and Seal to Dr. Evil (in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me). It also became the theme song to the TV series Joan of Arcadia.

Back then they were just dating. “Sarah was asleep on the sofa having asked me to show her how I make a song,” Bazilian says. “She woke up once, long enough to feed me the last line of the chorus.” That would be: Just a stranger on the bus / Trying to make his way home.

“Yes,” says Bazilian, “I can count on Sarah when she’s sleeping.”

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