Laetitia Sadier: “I take a lot of inspiration from the current state of me.” (3/22 at JB’s)

The last time we saw London-based singer/songwriter Laetitia Sadier in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection was October of 2022, when she appeared with avant-pop legends Stereolab...

The last time we saw London-based singer/songwriter Laetitia Sadier in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection was October of 2022, when she appeared with avant-pop legends Stereolab — the band that she co-founded and put her on the map in the ‘90s, who reformed in 2019 — from the relatively massive stage of the 2,700-capacity Franklin Music Hall.  However, it’s been quite a few years since we’ve seen her at the comparatively intimate Johnny Brenda’s, where she’s played a handful of solo shows over the years and of which she’s apparently a big fan.  However, she’ll be headlining the Fishtown “mini rock n’ roll ballroom” for a sold-out show this Friday, March 22nd.  During a recent phone chat, I ask how she feels about extra cozy rooms like this, and she tells me she’s a big fan, but also admits that there’s more intimacy to be found in mega-clubs than one might expect: “[Barrooms are] the best, where you can connect to people and there’s an intimacy, which you don’t get in an arena or large hall.  I think the limit is 5,000.  At 2,000, you can still create a feeling of intimacy.”

Laetitia Sadier is about three weeks into her current US tour, which comes in support of her fifth solo LP, Rooting For Love, which dropped last month courtesy of Drag City, her home since 2010.  However, she tells me that the music for the full-length has been in the works for quite some time: “It took four years to make, because it was a very slow process, as it got interrupted by Stereolab getting back to tour and the pandemic, and an album with friends from Brazil [MODERN COSMOLOGY] that came together first (I didn’t want to put out two albums in the same year.)  I was writing the first chords of the album in summer of 2018.”  Sadier has been dropping singles from the album since November and, like the music that made Stereolab famous, the songs would seem to take inspiration from a lot of the sociopolitical turmoil associated with the current state of the world.  However, she says that there’s a little more to it than that.

“I take a lot of inspiration from the current state of me [laughs].  I’m the land, or territory, that I can affect the most.  There’s a lot of improvement I can project there.  And this album takes a lot of that stance.  That first of all, to heal oneself, you have to do the shadow work, as Jung would call it.  Then, I can extend it to the people around me and the world at large.”

“In the expansion and shift in our visions, we also need to imagine the best possible outcome for our planet and the living world.  We need to imagine our best possible planet, because now it’s all falling to bits and it’s a shit show,” Sadier says of the mindset she had while composing Rooting For Love, going on to explain, “It’s not always going to be falling to shit.  There are cycles, and we’re at the end of a cycle… It’s up to us to imagine a contrary.”  “On Rooting For Love, I wanted to oppose the latest fear being imposed upon us by the media,” she says of the album’s ultimate goal.

My chat with Sadier came prior to the start of tour, but while she was hard at work putting together the performance.  “At the moment, I’m so focused on the upcoming show.  In the last two weeks I’ve been preparing my set, bought a sampler (I’ve never used a sampler before.), and bought a trombone (And I haven’t played trombone in more than 20 years.)” she tells me, before explaining, “I’m arranging the songs so they can just be played by me every night.”  She then clarifies that these shows, unlike some previous “solo” tours, will have her playing on her lonesome: “All of the show will be solo, but I’m equipped with some pedals, looper pedals, the sampler, and I have my trombone.”  “It’s coming together and I’m liking what I’m hearing,” she explained of the current state of the show, but does tell me that it won’t be exactly the same every night: “There’s still place for magic to happen, in that I’m not a robot [laughs].  There’s gonna still be room for improvisation.”

Laetitia Sadier’s US tour wraps early in April, but when I ask what the future holds for her, she quickly explains that later that month she kicks off her European dates, which will require her to learn basically a new show, which will feature her band: “When I come home on the 12th of April, I have five days to recover from seven weeks of touring and jetlag, and then I go to France to meet the band… and we get together to learn the songs as a band, and then we have one week before we go off on tour in Europe.”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.