Electropop's Sarah Walk Celebrates Queer Identity With "What Do I Want?" (premiere)

Photo: Daniel Smith Coleman / Courtesy of Girlie Action Media

Pop's Sarah Walk moves in an electropop direction with her latest single "What Do I Want?". It's part of a new album that tackles the difficult issues nearly all women face in patriarchal societies, especially queer women.

Pop singer-songwriter Sarah Walk takes a bold step in affirming her queer identity on her upcoming sophomore album, Another Me. Her latest record tackles the difficult issues that all women face in patriarchal societies that entitle males to power, silencing women's voices and marginalizing all but the most privileged among them. As an outsider, Walk made this album to address "being marginalized, being a woman, learning how to set boundaries without apology and being confident without feeling guilty for it. Learning how to love wholly without expectation."

That confidence is evident and infectious on Walk's latest single "What Do I Want?", which sees her move from her previous more piano-based music to synthesizer-infused electropop. The melodic hook on "What Do I Want?" moves the song into the anthemic, while the song remains searingly personal. Walk's voice is a marvel, rich in tone, ethereal when it needs to be. This Berklee College of Music graduate is masterful at composing empowering earworms, and this song continues that tradition.

From one queer Sarah to another: you got it, girl. Another Me releases 28 August via One Little Indian Records.

Walk tells PopMatters more about her impetus for creating this stellar single:

"'What Do I Want?' started as a love letter to my songwriting and turned into something else entirely, which happens a lot. I try to let the song lead me. It touches on my never-ending nostalgia, difficulty with decision making, and paralyzing anxiety over making the wrong choice. There have been times where I've been so overwhelmed by what to do that I'm unable to make a decision until someone else makes a choice for me. I think part of that comes from being a woman; we've been conditioned to doubt our capability, afraid of confidence coming off as arrogance. A lot of this album touches on the challenges that stem from marginalization and learning how to exist in this world without apology or guilt.

I initially had made a demo of this on the piano, but when we went in to record it, we knew it wouldn't fit with the rest of the album stylistically. We decided to start from scratch, changing the key, so it felt unfamiliar and starting with that pulsing synth bassline. I wanted the song to feel chaotic and distracting, like a panic attack trying to be tamed into focus.






Of Purges and Prescience: On David France's LGBTQ Documentary, 'Welcome to Chechnya'

The ongoing persecution of LGBTQ individuals in Chechnya, or anywhere in the world, should come as no surprise, or "amazement". It's a motif undergirding the history of civil society that certain people will always be identified for extermination.


Padma Lakshmi's 'Taste the Nation' Questions What, Exactly, Is American Food

Can food alone undo centuries of anti-immigrant policies that are ingrained in the fabric of the American nation? Padma Lakshmi's Taste the Nation certainly tries.


Performing Race in James Whale's 'Show Boat'

There's a song performed in James Whale's musical, Show Boat, wherein race is revealed as a set of variegated and contradictory performances, signals to others, a manner of being seen and a manner of remaining hidden, and it isn't "Old Man River".


The Greyboy Allstars Rise Up to Help America Come Together with 'Como De Allstars'

If America could come together as one nation under a groove, Karl Denson & the Greyboy Allstars would be leading candidates of musical unity with their funky new album, Como De Allstars.


The Beatles' 'Help!' Redefined How Personal Popular Music Could Be 55 Years Ago

Help! is the record on which the Beatles really started to investigate just how much they could get away with. The album was released 55 years ago this week, and it's the kick-off to our new "All Things Reconsidered" series.


Porridge Radio's Mercury Prize-Nominated 'Every Bad' Is a Wonderful Epistemological Nightmare

With Every Bad, Porridge Radio seduce us with the vulnerability and existential confusion of Dana Margolin's deathly beautiful lyricism interweaved with alluring pop melodies.


​​Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Builds Identity From Afrofuturism

Beyoncé's Black Is King's reliance on Afrofuturism recuperates the film from Disney's clutches while reclaiming Black excellence.

Reading Pandemics

Colonial Pandemics and Indigenous Futurism in Louise Erdrich and Gerald Vizenor

From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.


John Fullbright Salutes Leon Russell with "If the Shoe Fits" (premiere + interview)

John Fullbright and other Tulsa musicians decamped to Leon Russell's defunct studio for a four-day session that's a tribute to Dwight Twilley, Hoyt Axton, the Gap Band and more. Hear Fullbright's take on Russell's "If The Shoe Fits".


Roots Rocker Webb Wilder Shares a "Night Without Love" (premiere + interview)

Veteran roots rocker Webb Wilder turns back the hands of time on an old favorite of his with "Night Without Love".


The 10 Best Films of Sir Alan Parker

Here are 10 reasons to mourn the passing of one of England's most interesting directors, Sir Alan Parker.


July Talk Transform on 'Pray for It'

On Pray for It, Canadian alt-poppers July Talk show they understand the complex dualities that make up our lives.


With 'Articulation' Rival Consoles Goes Back to the Drawing Board

London producer Rival Consoles uses unorthodox approaches on his latest record, Articulation, resulting in a stunning, beautiful collection.


Paranoia Goes Viral in 'She Dies Tomorrow'

Amy Seimetz's thriller, She Dies Tomorrow, is visually dazzling and pulsating with menace -- until the color fades.


MetalMatters: July 2020 - Back on Track

In a busy and exciting month for metal, Boris arrive in rejuvenated fashion, Imperial Triumphant continue to impress with their forward-thinking black metal, and death metal masters Defeated Sanity and Lantern return with a vengeance.


Isabel Wilkerson's 'Caste' Reveals the Other Kind of American Exceptionalism

By comparing the American race-based class system to that of India and Nazi Germany, Isabel Wilkerson makes us see a familiar evil in a different light with her latest work, Caste.


Anna Kerrigan Prioritizes Substance Over Style in 'Cowboys'

Anna Kerrigan talks with PopMatters about her latest film, Cowboys, which deviates from the common "issues style" approach to LGBTQ characters.


John Fusco and the X-Road Riders Get Funky with "It Takes a Man" (premiere + interview)

Screenwriter and musician John Fusco pens a soulful anti-street fighting man song, "It Takes a Man". "As a trained fighter, one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned is to walk away from a fight without letting ego get the best of you."

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.