Recommended Tracks: “Burger”, “Mercedes”, “Worst Mom”
Artists You May Like: Colbie Caillat, Adele, Natasha Bedingfield
While I have yet to experience the wonders of motherhood, I know that it is life-changing. Growing up, I had always heard that pregnancy is unlike anything you can imagine, how giving birth to a child is even more surreal, and that the love you have for that child is the greatest love you could ever experience. Motherhood is something that seems to have that duality of being amazing and terrifying at the same time. On Mercedes, the latest album from Sarah Klang, the Swedish alt-pop artist captures her journey to motherhood. If anyone wants an idea of what to expect, they will find it on this album. Sarah reveals all kinds of feelings and memories, secrets and desires, giving us the full picture of who she was pre-pregnancy to who she is now that she has someone she can call her daughter.
Throughout Mercedes, we learn about Sarah’s past on songs like “Halloween Costume,” “Belly Shots,” and “It’s a Beautiful Dream.” From “Halloween Costume,” we hear what life was like for Sarah as a teenager and the way she imagined the trauma she experienced would haunt her. Over the folk rock vibes coming from the electric guitar strums, Sarah sings, “When I get out of here, I’ll be a mad woman,” remembering how unstable she thought she would be once she finished school and entered the real world. On “Belly Shots,” we observe how some of those feelings carried over into adulthood, as Sarah went through a wild party phase. Still, she knew she had a higher purpose in life, which comes through in the lines, “I was always dreaming about something else / And when I closed my eyes, I could see you.” It all comes to a head on “It’s a Beautiful Dream” as Sarah recalls the strange dreams and flashbacks she had during her pregnancy. The track resembles a diary entry, revealing her honest thoughts and lingering fears. She observes, “I was on the road / It was midnight / I was not alone / You were inside” and “Thought I was going crazy / My body full of fear,” knowing that she is now where she is meant to be.
We know that Sarah has a forward-moving nature about her, looking beyond what is in front of her and striving towards the future. On the pop-leaning “Sunny Philadelphia,” she imagines what it would be like to have everything she wants. She sings about taking the bus to work, pleasing her husband, and treasuring all those everyday moments that people often overlook. She just wants to be surrounded by warmth and love in the end, which are qualities she wants to have towards her baby. On the title track, which was written when Sarah was just nine weeks pregnant, she lets her baby know that she will always be there. Amongst the lively rhythms and pop melodies, Sarah sings, “Mercedes / Is that your name? / Mercedes / I never want to cause you any pain” and “Mercedes, you can always run to me,” offering full protection and comfort.
The joy that Sarah envisions still remains, even after giving birth to Mercedes. Tracks like “Hospital Window” and “Magic Stone” convey the happiness and love that has come into her life. On the former, Sarah recounts those heavy moments in the delivery room, her brassy timbre emphasizing the lines, “When I pushed her out / I could feel my heartbeat / Greatest love I ever held, and the pain didn’t really hurt me.” This incredible love is also found on “Magic Stone” with Sarah asking, “How could she shine / So bright that it hurts?” and “Is there a word bigger than love?”
And even when the task of being a mom becomes difficult, Sarah is still grateful. On “Burger,” she goes through the strain of being away from her baby while on tour. As Sarah describes how alone she feels and how she longs to live in the houses she drives by, she wonders if the pursuit of her career could be worth the while. She also wonders if being a mom is worth the while at times, as we hear on “Worst Mom.” Of course, motherhood is not easy. It takes so many tolls emotionally and physically, which we hear on this closing track. With delicate and tender vocals, Sarah sings, “I feel like the worst mom today / You screamed all night, and you’re probably gonna cry all day,” describing pure defeat. But, she remembers that life without Mercedes would be incomplete and sings, “I don’t even know who I am without you” and “When you smile / It feels like sunshine.”
All in all, Mercedes is not only a project about motherhood, but a project that leans into Sarah’s self-worth and identity. Sarah tells a story on this album through timeless vocals and nostalgic productions, beautifully touching on life before and after Mercedes. Her pregnancy brought her back to moments of her past, when she did not truly own who she was and where she was going. By reliving that time, she was able to move forward and make peace with herself before starting this next chapter of her life. She can now accept this new beginning and make the most out of being Mercedes’s mom. The songs on this album speak to the way that motherhood is not just about having a new baby in your life; it affects who you are, what you know about yourself, and what you want for the future.
You can check out Mercedes on platforms like Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Spotify.
Catch Sarah on her current tour here.