Sarah Carton introduces her new musical project Girl Next Door by sharing her hauntingly gorgeous cover of Mac DeMarco’s Let My Baby Stay — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Girl Next Door is London singer-songwriter Carton’s way of subverting the narrative around women, and releasing music and expressing herself in a way that makes her feel empowered. “I’m not going to try to please men, or fit into the man-made box that is the music industry,” she says.
“When growing up, my first boyfriend’s dad described me as a ‘girl next door’ when I came over and met his family. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but I felt like I had won his approval. As a teenager and even in my early 20s, I had this desire to fit into that archetype, pleasing the male gaze and not rocking the boat. Now that I’m older, wiser, and reject living my life to suit the desires of men, I look back at my ex’s dad and think what a creep he was.
“The ‘girl next door’ archetype is expected to be quiet, un-controversial, not have too strong opinions, not too sexy, and only exists in the eyes of men and through the male gaze. Without men ‘girl next door’ wouldn’t even exist, she’s only seen in relation to being ‘next door’ to a man. Now, I’m reclaiming the stereotype and releasing music on my own terms.”
Carton names Lykke Li, Kate Nash, Banks and The Streets as her biggest musical inspirations. Let My Baby Stay was originally produced in her bedroom when she was first learning electronic music production. “I put it on Soundcloud a few years ago and it got over 5k streams. It’s something that gave me real confidence and made me want to pursue music more seriously. That’s why I love it as the teaser for GND as it’s where the whole thing began.
“Mac DeMarco is one of my favourite artists. I wanted to try to take an acoustic track and re-imagine it with electronic production. When listening to the lyrics of the track it’s actually got a much darker side and is quite eerie, which I didn’t realise when first listening as Mac makes it sound so chilled, romantic and laid back. I wanted to lean into that eeriness and the idea of obsession with someone, fear of losing people we love and addiction to people.”
Originally from Bishop’s Stortford and now based in London, Girl Next Door’s journey to music came from an array of work in music production, theatre and spoken-word, including an award-winning solo music and poetry show Hatch. Following the show, an artist residency in Camden and a course in production, Carton released the single Beaches On The Thames. This was followed up by spoken-word single Lemon and bedroom-pop track Homesick. Last year saw her reach new heights with the release of her ethereal, electronic and self-produced debut EP Raw.
Watch the video for Let My Baby Stay above, listen to it on your preferred streamer HERE, hear more from Girl Next Door / Sarah Carton below, and follow her on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter.