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BWW Album Review: Sarah Stiles' You Can Ukulele With Me is the Rejuvenating Vacation We All Need


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BWW Album Review: Sarah Stiles' You Can Ukulele With Me is the Rejuvenating Vacation We All Need

Tony Award nominee, Sarah Stiles (Tootsie, Hand to God) recently released her debut EP, You Can Ukulele With Me, via Broadway Records. This recoding is in collaboration with songwriter, Holly Gewandter, and has become a bright spot in these uncertain times. Coincidentally recorded ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, this EP resonates now more than ever, as we are searching for an escape from the stress and worry and this recording, produced and arranged by Scott Wasserman, is a cheery and humorous antidote.

From the first strum of the ukulele, Stiles' signature style instantly transports you to a tropical island - perfect for this new, virtual world. "The Simple Song of Love" (The La La Song) is full of quirky and amusing metaphors for all of love's stages, from the dreamy moments to the stormy ones - all in good fun of course! The melody is extremely catchy, and you can't stop humming along -- as you imagine swaying in the summer breeze -- and remembering that at its core, love will always prevail.

"Dumb People" features the delightful voice of Andy Grotelueschen (Tony Award nominee for Tootsie) reflects on all of the different types of people we encounter in daily life. While we can't always take what someone says at face value, as they promise to give us the "stars, moon, and sky," some of the best people are "dumb people." It's a lightheaded reminder to still believe in the good in people and not always live with a guard up.

Next up is the emotionally breathtaking, "Forever Dreaming." The sound is reminiscent of a lullaby and remembering someone close to us. While there is much sadness and grief in that loss, there is also a lot of hope and comfort knowing that we can still call on them in our quiet time and through memories. It's beautiful, compelling, and stays with you.

The final two songs bring the party full circle! "You Can Ukulele With Me" breaks down the joys and intricacies of this popular instrument. Any time it is brought out, you feel like you have a front row seat to a luau and the music makes you feel relaxed and puts you in a good mood. Much cheaper than a plane ticket, the ukulele can transform any atmosphere into a magical one!

"Waiting for the Light" is a harmonious awakening of all that it means to be part of the human experience. During tough and heartbreaking times, when it seems like the future is out of our control, we need to remember the power we do have! "While we are waiting for the light to shine," we can come together and take the steps forward on our own. Nothing lasts forever, and just like in the past, we will overcome the circumstances and although it feels like the world is currently on pause, we can still take steps to create the world we want to see. The future really depends on what we make of this period in time.

You Can Ukulele With Me is the rejuvenating vacation we all need! It is a reminder to still enjoy life and look forward to when we can all be back together. The energetic tunes will brighten your day and take you away for a time, but also will provide the moments of contemplation and allow for the preparation to be a "better you" as a result of time off. The layers and lessons offered through this EP will give listeners permission to laugh, enjoy, unplug, and hold space for the most important thoughts. And you thought you were missing out on a getaway this year? Sarah Stiles has got you taken care of!

You Can Ukulele with Me is currently available on digital platforms.

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