For Sarah Jane Scouten, Becoming A Medical Herbalist Led Her Back To Songwriting

[Cover photo credit to Kirsten McEwan]

Canadian Folk/Country artist Sarah Jane Scouten has announces her fourth studio album Turned to Gold, due out September 15th, 2023. Alongside the announcement, Scouten has shared the single “Dragonheart,” a Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks-inspired Folk tune.

“Dragonheart,” is a play on Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks’ song “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” with the pun intended. Scouten shares that the track is, “part Tolkien, part Tom Petty, and part 1996 fantasy movie starring Dennis Quaid and Sean Connery by the same title. It’s so much fun and not in the least bit serious.”

The creation of Scouten’s forthcoming fourth studio album Turned to Gold inspired her to continue to pursue music professionally. Before 2020, she was burned out and didn’t feel it was wise to continue. By March 2020, she planned to become a medical herbalist and let her music career fade away. It was through this process, however, that she came back to songwriting with more perspective.

Scouten shares,

I’ve been galvanised by certain experiences and found the vulnerability to write about them. Thinking back on my songwriting I feel like the death doula of songwriters and certainly there are some songs on ‘Turned to Gold’ that go there. Learning therapeutic skills, I’m better equipped to hold space for people who connect to my songs in intense ways.

The new album “spans the vast spectrum of human emotions”.

Producer Johnny Payne shares:

We built her a little vocal room within the studio room so that she could dance while she sang without being seen. But sometimes, during certain poses, her arms would peek over the top of the walls as she performed. Those were usually the best takes.

Scouten continues about herbal medicine:

Herbal medicine has become a part of me and something I do alongside music, in the same way some artists are carpenters, graphic designers or instrument makers. Sometimes the things we do outside of music makes us better and more intriguing as artists. I’d like to think this applies to my music.

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