Abby Sage

Abby Sage has a voice that demands attention. A tender soul with an observational eye, this pop artist seems able to tap into her innermost feelings, all while helping to express the lives of those around her. An empathetic spirit, she recalls the flamboyant theatre of Florence + The Machine, as well as the hushed intimacy of Clairo. Someone who is rapidly making waves on both sides of the Atlantic, she remains humble and softly
spoken, burning with a subtle intensity.

Brought up in Toronto, Abby Sage was obsessed with music as a kid. Memorizing Disney themes and staying hooked to the radio, she started writing cute little ditties as a pre-teen. Indeed, her first song was about falling for Harry Potter’s schoolyard nemesis, the blonde-haired bad-boy Draco Malfoy. “Music was always the dominating factor in my life,” she says, “I just didn’t really realize it was an actual thing I could do, necessarily.”

As she grew, Abby continued to write. Few outside her closest friends had any idea of her talents, initially refusing to let people hear her sing. “The turning point was meeting new friends in Toronto. I began to record things, and make new songs, and gradually I began to recognize that this would something I could take out of my room and pursue.”

Making some demo recordings, Abby initially thought nothing more of it – until a tech accident saw her click the wrong button and share it with the world. “I remember when I posted my first track on SoundCloud,” she recalls. “I accidentally hit the button that shared it across social media – and suddenly all these friends were like, what’s going on? They didn’t know I could sing or write or anything.”

If her adolescence fuelled those songs, then music in turn provided a space for Abby Sage to mature. “I needed to grow up,” she says. “I needed to grow into that confidence. And a big part of that was me realizing where my strengths lie.”

The sessions continued, with Abby honing and refining her skills. Moving to LA, debut EP Fears Of Yours & Mine arrived in 2021, an incredible six-tracker brimming with potential. Hushed opener “Smoke Break” gives way to the pop potency of “Fever Dream,” while “Wasting Away” shows astonishing maturity. “I wanted to write about my own experiences,” she says. “That project was really cathartic, and I got a lot out of it.”

But now she’s ready to switch it up. Abby’s mother is British, and a visit to London saw her encounter the production team MyRiot. Real names Roy Kerr and Tim Bran, they immediately saw Abby’s incredible potential, and used their experience – garnered from smash hit sessions alongside the likes of Aurora, Halsey, IDER, and Rae Morris – to help her. “It all comes down to openness,” she says. “I want to work with people who aren’t
hesitant to try new things. It’s so important to be comfortable in the room, and to be able to take charge, and steer the session in a way that feels right to you.”

Relocating to London, she would travel on the tube into the studio each day, watching the crowds rush on and off the carriages, wondering where their lives were leading them. “I love music that dives into other people’s minds. Often, it’s only after writing those songs, that I’ve realized how closely connected to me they were. Everything you create is somehow connected to you.”

Her incoming The Florist EP represents a real shift, an evolution in her artistry. “I feel like a lot of my favourite artists move from project to project. It’s cool to move between those spaces, so you can compare and contrast as you evolve.”

Recent single “Pool Party” is a gorgeous, immersive introduction to this new aspect of her life. A song about coming of age, it was penned in the hazy state of jet leg, with Abby’s late-night thoughts drifting over themes of adolescence. “It’s symbolic for youth and growing up and navigating your way through life,” she says. “I wrote it from an observational standpoint, but so much of it is connected to my own journey. Nothing specific, but I feel like on an emotional level I was working through a few things on that song.”

Her new EP is fuelled by a love for character sketches, with each song becoming a tiny play or narrative. Take “The Florist,” and its depiction of a woman who can bring beauty to the lives of others. “I’m someone who’s so protective of their friends. When something is broken, I want to fix it. And a florist is someone who through their actions makes a room prettier – because flowers always manage to do that.”

“Irene” is a beautifully affecting sketch, one that could contain the central truth of the EP as a whole. Raw, and shockingly intimate, it contains her grandmother’s voice, discussing how her generation deal with the internet. Part of the project’s arc of ageing – from the follies of youth to the wisdom of the struggles of old age – it’s the cornerstone of her art. Simple, stark, and oddly moving it ends with the quiet affirmation: “anyway,
we’ll get there, Abby…”

As the EP moves through different phases in our lives, Abby Sage is able to present dramatic shifts in tone and mood while remaining intimately tied to its creator. “The whole project ebbs and flows,” she says. “I wanted it to feel tumultuous. Maybe we’ll resolve that in the next one. Who knows?”

Closing with “High Five” – a song Abby wrote following a mild concussion – she seems content to let her thoughts drift, finding the answers wherever they lie. “I wrote it in this weird fog,” she says. “It’s the most self-reflective song on the EP. It’s about waking up alone, and going to sleep alone, and how that makes you feel. And that makes me feel very alive, and completely myself.”

Focusing intensely on her future, Abby Sage is ready to speak directly and eloquently to her audience. A rare, rare talent, she’s the quiet voice that speaks an undiluted truth. “Everyone is in motion, whether they know it or not,” she says. “It’s always there, deep inside of us.”

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Wed 5.8
Live Nation Presents:
Show: 8:00 pm
Cafe Du Nord
All Ages