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Taking Me Back

by Sara Quah

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Full color, glossy, bi-fold digipak with CD wallet.
    Original artwork by Nathan Pence

    Includes unlimited streaming of Taking Me Back via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days

      $12 USD or more 


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Hear Taking Me Back on 140 gram BLUE TRANSLUCENT VINYL! Single pocket with four-color printed sleeve. Lyrics printed on sleeve.
    Download card included. Shrink wrapped.
    Album art by Nathan Pence.

    Help unbury Sara from her mountain of records!

    Includes unlimited streaming of Taking Me Back via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days

      $20 USD or more 


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Are you ready? Because this is the best limited edition vinyl package ever!

    Get the Taking Me Back vinyl with extra delicious goodies! Includes 140 gram blue vinyl (photo 2), full color sleeve with printed lyrics, B&W coloring card of album cover (photo 3), lyric sticker (photo 4), and full color Take Me Away lyric sheet printed on vellum (photo 5), all lovingly secured in a one-of-a-kind, fabric, hand-sewn vinylope (photo 1).

    Please note: vinylope selection is random for the limited edition unless you purchase your copy in person at a show.

    What's a vinylope? It's a hand-sewn fabric slipcover for your vinyl. Sara personally selects each fabric! Every slipcover is made of two different fabrics, so you'll always have something fun to look at!
    Perfect for giving vinyl as gifts, or even as a storage bag if fabric slipcovers aren't your thing!

    Copy-paste this link into your browser to see Sara demonstrate how it works: gph.is/2sa05mM

    Includes unlimited streaming of Taking Me Back via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ... more
    ships out within 7 days
    edition of 100 

      $45 USD or more 


For You, Dear This attention to my ear Is not wasted Your fingers trace it This attention to my ear Is not wasted My heart in paces A question mark A microphone The funnel sounds Keep running down Like a marble in a chute That leads down to the ground I’m outta, I’m outta my mind I’m outta, I’m outta my mind I’m outta, I’m outta my mind For you, dear This fixation for you dear Is not healthy Or so they tell me This fixation for you dear Is not helping But I can’t help it The steady line That triggers mine It spikes into Three quarter time When started with a clock That keeps running down
How I’m Feeling Like driving With the windows open On a clear night in June With the music So loud that the Cells inside me fill out That’s how I’m feeling Right now Oh, oh, oh, oh Like being alone And not looking back In the rear view mirror Like seeing the moon On a landscape where Nothing else will move But me That’s how I’m feeling Right now And I don’t even need To go too fast I get a close up View of the fields I pass Moving particles I part my sea Aerodynamically That’s how I’m feeling Right now
Take Me Away 03:40
Take Me Away Time flies by a cat In the window Life outside looks Awfully green Light shines bright In the afternoon Take me, take me away Take me, take me away Take me, take me away Come what may, Take me away with you Candlelight Lengthens the shadows Casts our fears Of the unseen Smile at me Like something new Maybe some music will Take all our troubles away Wind up the boxes, Open the lids of today Quick, quick slow Quick, quick slow Where will we go? I don’t know How long can we stay away Two of a kind To be continued Breaks it all down To what it all means You love me And I love you
Closer 03:11
Closer You’ve got something To say to me You’ve got the look That can only mean Now look at me I can barely breathe You put your hand On the wall and Lean over me and say Why don’t you slide closer? Just a little bit closer to me Slide over Just a little bit closer to me Now here comes My favorite song And I can’t stop From singing along And that’s the step That you’re moving on You put your hand On my back And now I’m gone So I can hear Your heartbeat And I can hear You breathing And I can feel Your right hand Reaching out For my hand And you can hear Me singing And I can feel You leading And you can love The way my voice hits Your ear Why don’t you slide closer? Just a little bit closer to me Slide over Just a little bit closer to me Slide closer Just a little bit closer to me Slide over Just a little bit closer to me
What I Heard 04:04
What I Heard Draw myself up Up from the deep Where arms and legs Stay asleep I know I heard Your voice out loud Halfway to wake Up from my dream Suspend my belief I don’t want to Wake up now What I heard Was the sound Of your voice Calling out Frozen inside Keep still abide Awareness slide Keep the world at bay Soon I will know Too soon arise Come to realize What you did not say In the hallway Or the next room You would call me And I would hear you All in my mind All in my mind Where I can hear you
Foreverness 04:18
Foreverness Picture’s still up From the first time I was in style Kept a white square On the wall so I’ve been there a while Looking so funny that I know it’s Gonna make you smile, Gonna make you smile Foreverness, Never stops, Not that I will ever see, Never stops, Coming closer to me She was still smiling Bout the time that I pushed her away But still it makes me cry Cause I thought That I’d be okay Door slamming shut On the words That she heard me say She heard me say All my life I wished for flight I never thought I’d wait in line Now that I Can’t seem to Fix my mind Always thought that I’d have more time
Physics 04:33
Physics Guess I’m breaking my bridges And burning my bread You’ll have to find someone To talk to instead I’m spinning so fast That I’ve misplaced my time It’s used up and faceless and Waving goodbye Gones be bygones With a fidgeting gaze Late for appointments I started that way Heartbeat accelerates As I drive across town I wait in the turn lane Overcome by the sound Of the drumbeat inside of me, Pounding it out On the steering wheel vinyl, Frame jarring loud Somewhere an insight, An intricate arrow, Designed just to point right The way straight and narrow I find a place on the wall As I wind up to turn Fix my eyes on the spot And whip around sure Straight as the arrow That’s notched in the bow I slice through the air, Chin tucked toward the goal. But what if I’m not in the air? What if I’m deep under water? What if I’ve turned And pushed off the wall? What if I’ve used up The physics of it all? What if I’m not in the air?
Goodbye 03:53
Goodbye I know there’s been Something wrong For a while now I know there’s been Something gone For a while now The meter you filled Has run out of time And I’m daring you not to Step over the line With your hands In your pockets Your toe kicks a rock at me I don’t have any change You say: We don’t spend enough time We don’t spend enough time We don’t spend enough time Around here I know there’s been Something wrong For a while now I know there’s been Something gone For awhile Now the scene I imagined Has filled up my mind And I’m scared that you’ll say I’m just wasting your time When we walk Under street lights Your shadow takes over me I know it’s time for a change I can’t make up my mind I can’t say goodbye I open my wallet And out comes a lie and You jingle your keys You turn back inside We leave at the same time But facing two gates And then only the strangers See the tears on my face Lights refract in my eyes I can’t say goodbye I can’t make up my mind I can’t say goodbye Lights refract in my eyes I can’t say goodbye
20 Steps 04:13
20 Steps Only 20 steps From the storm drain There’s a path to the water Where the wings of the culvert Slows all that’s rushing down The rocks and the leaves Rest lightly, The light flows through trees Slightly, And the creek flows, It flows around There is stillness In between The passing cars The waves of sound There is stillness In between Our passing lines When I look down at the water You look up at the trees Only 20 steps to the bridge There’s a car crossing over Where two pairs of tires roll by One after the other You stand uneven By the creek bed I sit not hearing All that you said Let’s find our footing On higher ground Only 20 steps to the car There’s a storm passing over
A Little Bit 02:19
A Little Bit All those days eavesdropping On the birds out on the wire Their subtle conversations On the air just make me smile One romantic line, Happens all the time Strangers on the sidewalk Driving blind I gotta make you fall in love With me a little bit Make it impossible to wave And smile and then forget You want to talk to me a little While I’m singing See me later And say that we met Look into my eyes It hasn’t even started yet Summertime is longing For attention in the night I find myself sleepwalking When the moon is in the sky Metal on the skin, Position that we’re in East and west maneuvers Wearing thin
I’ll Be Alright She was just a little girl Always smiling Frozen feet With no steady beat Careful to listen in She tried her best to Accommodate Always hiding a pounding soul That betrayed hope All her breath held in She said: Someday I’m gonna run away Someday I’m gonna run away When my feet hit the ground And my weight shifts around When my stride Measures my mind When I start to think That I’ll be alright Yes, I’ll be alright The echo of those grown-up Words seem far enough away Foreign now, though stifling, What awful things to say She’s untied all Those apron strings But set her own to stay She’s stronger now, and she’s wondering how She ever lived that way The pain in her side That aches as she runs Will break in due time When she turns to find Those brown eyes But instead sees her own She can look on in love She can speak out in love She can breathe out in love She can breathe in love
Wallflower 06:14
Wallflower Romantic moment With my phone A secret smile for my opponent The room reflected in my shoes A backwards dance From my perspective This is just a waste of time I can’t interpret your signs I can’t bring myself to smile So I sit alone tonight With my hands By my side My toe keeps tapping On the floor I’m lost in thoughts Caught on rewinding My fingers wrap Around the chair While I’m pretending That I don’t care Trace my eyes In liquid lines Glance them back and forth To find somewhere to wait In single file, Let’s move in time, Assembly line Hands that glow And fingers blue Reach for friends who Stand in another queue And I bite my lip And I muddle through And I disappear to fix my shoe I can’t see a thing But I enjoy the view I just want to dance with you Just ask me to dance with you


A couple of years ago, my husband gifted me a leather journal, thick with heavy, lined paper and covered in musical notation. I love it. The pages are just the right size; for when laid open, the two page spread gives me just enough room to take notes and make lists and still compose all in one space. It took me two years of writing music to fill it. I take it with me almost everywhere. All of the music on Taking Me Back was written in it. It is completely full.

It is hard for me to imagine that I spent two years on this project. A year writing music and crafting it, another year recording it. And now it is finished. As the advice is “make good art; put it out into the world,” –here world.

It is a big leap–or feels so to me–for me to make something and then turn around and call it art. It is a big leap to call oneself an artist. It feels like the title should come with credentials. It feels like the name should be applied by an objective outsider. It feels like wearing a costume to apply the term to yourself.

Why is that? I’m sure that it isn’t hard to call yourself a baker when you bake. It isn’t hard to call yourself a plumber if you plumb. Maybe it’s because we don’t have any real quantifiers when it comes to designating what is art and what is not. I mean not everyone who makes a cake is a “real” baker. My husband can fix a leaky faucet (actually he can fix anything and just in the last evening he’s fixed the printer, the stapler, dinner, the router, and my email) but he’s not a plumber. We all understand the difference. Maybe that’s why some of us worry that we have not earned the title. No one can really say what is art and what is not. Who is an artist and who is not. And without a test to pass, no one can say for sure what it is you are doing. At least at first.

I read some advice for campaigns like mine just recently and it said, “This is not the time to be cool. This is the time to be real. And tell your friends the truth.” Well, okay, this is real. And this is the truth: I really need your support. I really need your enthusiasm. I need to sell this album, in all its forms, and make the record label super happy and willing to make another one. I really need to defy the odds and the critics, especially the one in my head. More truth: I’m both nervous and happy. Nervous because I don’t want to let everyone down. Nervous because I don’t want to fail. Nervous because I’m really not good at asking for help. Nervous because I worked really hard, and it’s still not perfect, and it’s not going to be. And happy because now I get to enjoy this for a little while. Playing and talking and laughing and living it. Happy because I get to go out and be in the world with it and be a part of things with it. Happy because I made something and had the chance to put it out into the world, and I did it.

Whether I have earned the title of artist or not I cannot know. But I have made something and it’s too late to turn back now. I have made something, and I’m putting it out into the world. I have made it for you, dear.


released May 5, 2017

Music and lyrics by Sara Quah. All arrangements were designed and performed by the band: Sara Quah, Tony SanFilippo, Dale Griffith, Mike Gardner, and Edwin Pierce.

Sara Quah: Lead and background vocals, acoustic guitar
Tony SanFilippo: Drum set, percussion, acoustic guitar on Wallflower, vibraphone and orchestra bells on Take Me Away
Mike Gardner: Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Hammond Organ, piano
Dale Griffith: Bass guitar
Edwin Pierce: Electric guitar
Trefan Owen: Lead guitar on Physics and Wallflower
Jerry Erickson: Pedal steel guitar on Closer and Foreverness
Mitch Guth: Background vocals on Physics, 20 Steps, and Take Me Away, acoustic guitar on A Little Bit
Matt Sherrill: Vocals on Goodbye

Produced, recorded, and mixed by Tony SanFilippo at Oxide Lounge Recording, Bloomington, IL.
Mastered by Scott Craggs at Old Colony Mastering, Boston, MA.
Vinyl cut by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl, Memphis, TN.


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Sara Quah Normal, Illinois

Sara Quah is a singer/songwriter/woke human being from not-so Normal, IL.
Elaborate melodies and intricate lyrics are the foundation of her vintage songwriting.
Her newest full-length, full-production LP is called Taking Me Back and was released May 2017.
Learn more about her all-that-ness at saraquah.com.
Follow her on social media @sarabquah.
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