Sabrina Comellas —28 August 2019 on Rocket Shop Radio Hour
On Wednesday, August 28, Sabrina Comellas presented Rocket Shop with a personal performance. Sabrina filled the studio with all the vigor of a full band, though it was only her and her guitar.
Sabrina opened the evening with her song “Relapse.” Not only was it the first song of the evening, but also the first song Sabrina ever wrote! The song demonstrates Sabrina’s staple american folk sound: a balance between poetic lyrics and a bellowing voice full of heart. She’s one of the few artists to fluster host Tom. All Tom could muster as the final notes faded was a bashful, “Incredible.”
Sabrina has been singing since she could speak. If her first word was hello, then it would be safe to assume she’d be singing along to Adele by the end of that week. Her first musical training came from opera, which she performed through school. She studied theater and design in college, and landed a fast paced job in Manhattan. The pay was adequate, but the ideals of the business didn’t line up with her own, and Sabrina left the city lights for the relative calm of Burlington. The hospitality of Burlington, combined with the surprisingly lively music scene persuaded Sabrina to sink her roots in and start developing her music.
But all was not smiles and red carpets. Things were rough. Sabrina struggled to find exposure in between working two jobs. Looking for solace, She called her grandmother.
“I feel like I’m not getting performances and gigs and music isn’t really happening,” Sabrina said.
“Well, have you really tried?” her grandmother asked.
Although simple and frank, the question struck a chord with Sabrina. She decided, then, who she wanted to be. If music was her passion, she would fight tooth and nail to make it work.
Since then, Sabrina has developed a strategy of self improvement which she calls, “investing in yourself,” or, colloquially, “treat yo’ self!” For her birthday, she doesn’t spend her money with vanity and pleasure in mind. Instead, she identifies a goal and objects she needs to achieve them. If she needs a new guitar to keep writing music, she’ll treat herself to a new guitar. But the gift does not end with the object—most of the pleasure comes from using it. Investing time as well as money. She may gift a guitar to herself, but in doing so she also gifts to herself four hours a day of practicing on said guitar.
Sabrina’s dedication is laudable, and its fruits show in the beauty of her music. Just ask Tom.
Sabrina’s second song is titled, “Didn’t Break.” An ode to painful love, “Didn’t Break” feels extremely personal, and anyone can find a piece of it to identify with.
Many of Sabrina’s songs are originals, many of which can be heard in her recent album, “Sabrina.” The album was released on May 10 with a seven-song tracklist. Her striking pose on the album’s cover was photographed by Jaqueline Potter, and the colorful collage of flowers and art supplies was designed by Radio Bean graphic designer Mary Beth. Both friends of Sabrina, whom thanks them for all that they’ve done, as well as all of those unnamed souls who supported her through the “year of investment” which led up to the album’s release.
The recent end of her album campaign has left her with a bittersweet feeling. Though she wouldn’t change a thing, she recognizes that she could have done some things differently. That said, it’s tough to find an artist who doesn’t share this same sentiment about their first album.
Sabrina hopes to follow up her recent album release with a single this Fall.
Sabrina ended her lovely night with us with a rendition of her song, “Colors.”
You can catch Sabrina playing in and around Burlington. She isn’t hard to spot with her mint green guitar and unmatched fashion sense.
“I want you to see me. I am the performer,” she says, explaining her clothing choices. “I am the artist. I wear bright red pants. I don’t like to go anywhere discreetly.”
If you are still worried about missing her, you can check out all of her events on her website (another birthday gift dedicated to self-improvement). She’ll be playing at Radio Bean on September 20, and she’ll also be at the Adirondack film festival, as her music video for “What the World Looks Like” was nominated for Best Music Video. You can find her music on her soundcloud, as well as all streaming services.
Photo by James Lockridge.
Text by Luke Vidic.