Poet-painter-composer-singer-multi-instrumentalist wonder Sarah Fimm is the unique artist who manages to make every album in her prolific oeuvre innovative and exciting without ever losing the core of who she is as an artist. Her signature sound weaves a dark, gothic undercurrent with sultry, trippy beats (she’s toured with Bauhaus and Delerium), crashing piano, and her purring, ferocious voice, but there’s always something new to discover with each release. Her new album, Given Never Offered, is no exception to that artistic excellence.
The opener, “Teacher,” is the Sarah Fimm sound we know and love, but then the Lynchian instrumental “Bridges and Tunnels” slinks in with jazz horns and murky, rumbling piano–resurrected on the later instrumentals “Streetlights” and “Mannahatta.”
The album’s title track is also its centerpiece. “Given Never Offered” is a haunting ballad that puts the spotlight directly on Sarah’s beautiful voice.
The simmering piano of “Black Ash Clouds” recalls both Sarah’s early albums and those of Tori Amos. The song shares a kinship with Tori’s “Icicle” and “Yes, Anastasia.” So of course I love it.
“Folding Petal” is another exquisite ballad. There aren’t many artists that elicit full reviews from me anymore, let alone make me stop everything else I’m doing to listen intently. Sarah is one of the select few, and “Folding Petal” demanded my full attention.
“Wild Dreams” unleashes the lovely soprano side of Sarah’s gorgeous, multi-faceted voice.
Lest we think she’s gone soft, the finale “Power Over Me” pushes Sarah back into the menacing electro-rock house she built with her industrious, genius hands.