Sarah Lou Richards releases ‘Someone Who Gets Me’

Her latest album is an Americana ode to her loved ones

More stories from Lauren Hovde



UW-Eau Claire graduate, Sarah Lou Richards, now lives in Tennessee and is pursuing her dream to be a singer-songwriter.

As a child, she was always belting out a tune. Now, she has released three albums and just came out with her fourth. “Someone who Gets Me” is based on her family and dear friends, with various songs dedicated to specific people.

Sarah Lou Richards graduated from UW- Eau Claire with a degree in music education. She transferred in as a junior and said it was a big transition time in her life. She said she loved being a part of the Women’s Concert Chorale, though one thing she regretted was not taking advantage of the connections available to her within the music department.

Richards taught for a year in Connecticut before realizing she wanted to perform and move to Tennessee ten years ago. She slowly started writing her own music and learned how to play guitar. Six and a half years ago, she began touring.

Now, she has one EP and three full-length albums, including her latest, “Someone Who Gets Me.” She said the sound of this album separates itself from any previous music she has released.

“It’s a much more eclectic sound,” Richards said. “We used pedal steel as a primary instrument throughout the whole record which often can sound really country, but it really brings out some different feelings and paints a different picture when it’s being used as an instrument on an album that is in fact, not very country at all.”

Madeleine Behling, a sophomore English student and member of the Women’s Concert Chorale said Richards has a distinctive sound unlike other artists.

Richards said she knows everyone who played on the record very well in fact, most people who played on her album are Eau Claire graduates.

Richards’ brother, his wife and their children still live in Eau Claire. This town has become much more important to her life and music than she ever would have expected, she said.

“The music scene in Eau Claire just keeps growing. It’s such a nurturing and warm arts community,” Richards said. “Now it’s one of my favorite places to tour.”

Richards said many of her songs are inspired by close loved ones and family members. She wrote songs for her niece and nephew, two being “Song For Peaches” and “Jaidyn’s Lullaby.”

“(‘Song of Peaches’) is a song about my nephew who is now six,” Richards said. “I wrote the song when he was in his momma’s belly and he was the size of a peach. He was the first baby, and it was so exciting. It was like a snapshot into our expectant emotions waiting for him to come into the world.”

After listening to “Song of Peaches,” Behling said she did not like the song.

“I thought her lyrics were odd and the song didn’t flow cohesively,” she said.

She went on to write “Jaidyn’s Lullaby” for her sister’s next baby from the perspective of the older brother.

“He actually sings the introduction on it,” Richards said. “It is so sweet. It’s like the cutest thing on the planet. He’s gotten up on the stage and sang it before with me.”

“Love Always Wins” is the final track on Richards’ album. She wrote it for her friends who were getting married shortly after the bill for marriage equality passed. Performing a song about love makes her feel like she is contributing to society and using her voice for good, she said.

“It was a really emotional experience to write a song for people I love that were getting married,” Richards said. “It was definitely special, but then that their marriage was going to be recognized all across the country was so special and important and such a big milestone.”

Her album release show in Eau Claire will be at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 at the gallery in the Oxbow Hotel. In the meantime, her album is available for purchase on iTunes and may be streamed through Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio.

“It’s so fun to have things line up and be able to be promoting and talking about it (the album) as it is coming out into the world. It’s really exciting,” Richards said. “I’m walking around like it’s my birthday.”