- Album Title: TBA
- Release Date: Early 2019
- Label: Epic
- Recording Dates: June 2018 - September 2018
- Status: Fully finished as of October 10, 2018; mixing week prior; had 13 songs recorded in early August
- Lead Single: "Armor," released on October 26, 2018
- Expected Sound: Slight departure, rootsy, organic sound
- Expected Themes: Politics, social issues, love songs for Barack Obama, love songs for her boyfriend Joe Tippett, personal struggles, empowerment; "Broken, but it has heart"
- Songwriters: Sara Bareilles
- Producer: T Bone Burnett
It's been four years since Sara Bareilles released her last studio album, The Blessed Unrest. It was an impressive album that found her exploring uncharted territory (no pun intended), as she incorporated electronics more than she ever had before. However, she didn't stray too far from the confessional singer-songwriter pop songs that she was known for. Her perfect blend of familiar and new led The Blessed Unrest to be nominated for the Grammys' Album of the Year award.
In 2015, Sara Bareilles composed all the music for a new musical, Waitress, based on a 2007 indie movie of the same name. The musical made it to Broadway in spring 2016, with Jessie Mueller starring as Jenna. In November 2015, Sara released What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress, an album made up of some of those songs. She released "She Used To Be Mine" as its single, along with a theater-inspired music video.
That same year, Sara also published her first book, an autobiography called Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song. It’s a must-read that gives some insight into Sara's life, from her childhood to her writing her first musical.
Early in 2017, Sara revealed that her record label was pushing for that followup to The Blessed Unrest, since musical albums don't really count. She stated that her focus was writing new songs. She did took to star as Jenna in Waitress in spring 2017 - and again in early 2018 - and composed a song for the SpongeBob Square Pants musical. In spring 2018, Sara performed as Mary Magdalene in NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, hosted the Tony Awards in June, and received an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame that same month.
In November 2017, Sara revealed on Instagram live chat that she had some "pretty slick songs" ready for her next album. She promised it would be out in 2018, and planned to begin recording in June 2018.
On June 22nd, Sara shared an Instagram post explaining the themes of her forthcoming music. Throughout July, Sara shared sneak peeks from the studio, including an exciting song snippet on July 25th. At the beginning of August, Sara was interviewed by ET and the LA Times. She told them about her "slightly political" new music, which includes love songs for Barack Obama as well as love songs for her boyfriend, actor Joe Tippett. The songs get into social and political issues, as well as things happening in Sara's personal life. Musically, it will be rootsy and organic, and a bit of a departure for Sara.
In October 2019, Sara told Variety that she was finished recording and the album was in the mixing phase; T Bone Burnett produced it. She plans to release one single in fall 2018, while the album will be out early in 2019. On October 10th, Sara announced that she played the album in full for Epic Records president Sylvia Rhone.
After a few days of teasing, on October 24th, Sara announced "Armor" would be the lead single. The following day she shared a short teaser clip. That Friday, October 26th, "Armor" was released along with an empowering lyric video. Sara described it as the centerpiece of her new album, promised to be out early in 2019. After dance rehearsals two days prior, Sara filmed the "Armor" music video on December 15th.