Sarah Elizabeth Blaskow (born 23 September 1976) is an Australian singer-songwriter and musician. Blasko developed her solo career after fronting Sydney-based band, Acquiesce, between the mid-1990s and 2002. In 2007, Blasko won the "Best Pop Release" award for What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have at the ARIA Music Awards. Her album, As Day Follows Night, won the "Best Female Artist" award at the 2009 ARIA Awards. Early life edit: Blasko was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, in 1976, soon after her family returned from French-speaking Réunion, where both parents were Christian missionaries. Blasko's mother was a nurse and her father a teacher; both parents were from a Bulgarian/German background. Upon their return to Australia, Blasko's parents frequently changed churches and settled at a Pentecostal church in Sydney, which later became the Hillsong Church. While in high school, Blasko and her older sister, Kate, formed a jazz-blues group. By the age of 15, Blasko was concerned she "wouldn't make it" and was partially influenced by the apocalyptic message of the "End of the World" and "Christ's Return". Blasko eventually left the church in her final year of school, declaring that its emphasis on material success "just didn't fit" with her, or her interpretation of the scriptures. However, Blasko has since stated that she thinks she still believes in "God", despite her perception that such an admission is unpopular in Australia. She had no formal singing lessons until aged 19 and started playing guitar. At university, Blasko completed a degree in English literature and film. Acquiesce edit: From 1998, as Sarah Semmens, she fronted Sydney band Acquiesce on lead vocals, with founding members Paul Camilleri on guitar, Steve Foxe on violin, Dave Hemmings on drums, Ted Langtree on bass guitar and her sister Kate Halcrow on harmony vocals. Tracks were co-written by Blasko and Camilleri, Acquiesce recorded an EP, Aa for Acquiesce, released in September 1999. Dave Cullen (of Brotherhood Lush) replaced Langtree on bass guitar and they released a single, "Breathe In", in November 2000. Both EP and single were produced by Hugh Wilson (Brotherhood Lush). Acquiesce received some local attention in 1999 by winning a national campus band competition. Acquiesce disbanded by January 2001 and Blasko teamed-up with acoustic guitarist, Nick Schneider in the short-lived project Sorija, an acoustic pop/electronic duo, they played gigs in Sydney until April 2002. Early in her career, Blasko says she had an unsuccessful marriage. Personal style edit: Blasko is known for her vintage tastes in clothes, music and art, and she revealed in a Rolling Stone (Australia) interview: "I like things that are old and have been lived in. It probably started as a kid when my family shopped at Vinnie's because we hardly had any money. I like things that stand the test of time." Solo career edit: In 2002, Blasko went solo and released her debut EP Prelusive. She released and promoted her material independently, with financial assistance from her manager Craig New. She also produced the music video for lead track, "Your Way". Blasko eventually signed to Brisbane-based label, Dew Process, which repackaged and re-released Prelusive in March 2003. Debut album edit: Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Overture_%26_the_Underscore In October 2004, Blasko released her debut album, The Overture & the Underscore, recorded in Hollywood at the studio of engineer Wally Gagel. She co-produced with Gagel and fellow songwriter Robert F. Cranny. Gagel engineered and mixed the album, with assistance from Bruce MacFarlane. Joey Waronker played all and percussion. Cranny also played various instruments on the album. The album met with critical acclaim and received platinum accreditation in Australia for sales of over 70,000, and peaked into the Top 40 on the ARIA Albums Chart. In 2005, Blasko received four ARIA Music Awards nominations, including 'Album of the Year'. Three music videos were produced for album tracks: "Don't U Eva", "Always Worth It" and "Perfect Now". Her debut EP and album focused around acoustic guitar and utilized both live and programmed drums. Bernard Zuel reviewed the album for The Sydney Morning Herald, saying "Blasko works in the territory where Ed Harcourt and Fiona Apple shine, taking some of the new acoustic framework (think Turin Brakes) and some of the folk-meets-electronica stuff that came out in the post-Portishead years and applies them to straightforward pop songs." What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have edit: Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_the_Sea_Wants,_the_Sea_Will_Have Blasko spent April 2006 recording her second album in Auckland, New Zealand at Roundhead Studio, the studio of Crowded House frontman Neil Finn. She produced the album with Cranny and Moginie and it featured musical contributions from Dave Symes, Jeff De Araujo, Moginie and Cranny;Victor Van Vugt mixed the record. The first radio-only single released from the album was "Explain" on 11 September, with a music video viewable on Blasko's official website. The next single, "Always on This Line", also had a video. A video was also made for "Planet New Year". "Explain" reached No. 79 and "Always on this Line" achieved No. 58 on Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2006. The album was released in Australia on 21 October, it debuted at No. 7 on the ARIA Albums Charts and has received platinum accreditation. As Day Follows Night edit: Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_Day_Follows_Night In 2008, Blasko composed the score (with Stefan Gregory) for Bell Shakespeare's production of Hamlet, which ran in July-August. While working on the Hamlet score, Blasko also began composing for her third studio album, As Day Follows Night. Blasko recorded it in Stockholm, Sweden, and blogged on her official site about her experiences from January 2009. She had written the songs without input from long term co-writer, Cranny--their creative and personal relationship had ended. Blasko decided to record in a simpler and more straight forward manner--without electric guitars and keyboards. The album was produced by Bjorn Yttling (of Peter Bjorn and John) and released in Australia on 10 July, peaking at No. 5 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Seeker Lover Keeper edit: Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seeker_Lover_Keeper In 2010, Blasko recorded an album in New York with fellow Australian singer-songwriters Holly Throsby and Sally Seltmann. The group and subsequent album were titled Seeker Lover Keeper. The debut album for the group hit No. 3 on the ARIA Charts in June 2011, Blasko's highest chart entry. The trio embarked on a national tour to promote the album in June and July 2011. I Awake edit: Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Awake On November 5, 2012, Blasko released her latest album, I Awake. She planned to tour Australia, visiting every capital city, to promote the album in February, 2013. She also planned to invite an orchestra in each capital city to accompany her. Touring edit: Sarah Blasko has toured extensively in Australia, as well as the US, Canada, UK and Ireland. Although the exact configuration varies, she performs with a five or six piece band usually consisting of drums, electric and synth bass, acoustic and electric guitar plus keyboards and various samplers/ effects units. Due to the breadth of arrangement most of the touring musicians are multi-instrumentalists. She also performed in a duo with Cranny accompanying on guitar and keyboards. In both formats, Blasko plays acoustic guitar and occasional keyboards. She has toured with folk/roots artists such as Ray LaMontagne and played outdoor rock festivals. Blasko has toured the UK and Ireland with Tom McRae, and US and Canada with Ray LaMontagne, James Blunt and Martha Wainwright. She has played at Woodford Folk Festival, The Falls Festival, Homebake, Splendour in the Grass, Festival of the Sun, WOMADelaide festival and in 2006 joined the national Big Day Out tour. In March 2007 Blasko performed a special concert in Perth, Western Australia in the Octagon Theatre of the University of Western Australia. Blasko supported by a string quartet and a local guitarist. In January 2009, Blasko played to thousands at the Southbound festival in Busselton, Western Australia. In May 2010 Sarah Blasko toured the UK supporting The Temper Trap. Later that year she also toured through the rest of Europe. In 2012, Blasko performed with Snow Patrol at their acoustic shows in Melbourne (September 30) and Sydney (October 1). She joined lead singer Gary Lightbody for the duet "Set Fire to the Third Bar".