What: Sandi Thom
When: Sunday, May 5 at 6.30pm
Where: Art Gallery of Ballarat, Lydiard Street North
SCOTTISH singer songwriter Sandi Thom has come a long way sonically since the release of her debut single I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair). But even though she has matured as a musician, the messages she conveys through her music remain ever the same.
"At the end of the day, I'm just a big hippie," Thom told The Courier.
"You can shoot me down but I'm an advocate of peace and an advocate of love. I've been that way ever since I was a child and I'm not going to stop now."
In her latest and fourth studio album Flesh and Blood, the multi-instrumentalist continues to explore the political and social issues that are evident in everyday society - just as she did in her first record Smile...It Confuses People.
"I've always had a tendency to write about those things and the title track Flesh and Blood touches upon a lot of common issues present in everyday life and the things we talk about around coffee tables," Thom said.
"There's always one song on each record that says something about the bigger picture - not just about me or my emotions but with more of a worldly meaning."
Thom's latest release isn't just a dark and gloomy picture of society though. Her songs also reflect on the more light-hearted experiences from her life.
"They're not all light and fluffy love songs, there is light and darkness to the album so it's a good balance."
Flesh and Blood allowed Thom to sit in the director's chair and create a work of art that was truly hers and which didn't rely on other people's agendas. This is a feat she is incredibly proud of.
As well as creating a record she can confidently call her own, Thom feels she has progressed and matured as a musician and is looking forward to discovering what else she is capable of.
"It was very much my own hence the name Flesh and Blood. It is as raw as it gets and is an honest interpretation of my music," she said.
"My voice has improved and I've learned to do things I couldn't do before, and performance wise, I've stretched myself a lot more in this album and that's a good thing.
"There is also a lot more intricacy to the songwriting elements and arrangements in the music and it's going to be interesting for me to develop that sound and discover new elements. This album is the beginning of a unique sound."
Although Thom has taken on a new path sonically, this hasn't deterred her punk rocker fans from standing by her and her music. If anything, the new Sandi Thom has gathered a new allegiance of followers.
"There are new fans that have come from this album and are more aware of what I do now than what I did previously," she said.
"There's a nice balance between a loyal fan base and the people who are discovering me for the first time. This is what keeps me on my feet and keeps it interesting."
And even though Thom doesn't want to be known solely as the girl who wished she was a punk rocker, at least she can stand proud and say she achieved a number one hit - albeit seven years ago. And there's nothing to indicate it won't happen again.
"The fact I achieved a number one hit and accolades with that song and that album in several countries is something I can only ever be proud of," she said.
"It's better to be known for something than nothing at all."
The Courier is giving away two double passes to see Sandi Thom live at The Art Gallery of Ballarat next month. Email email@example.com with your name and contact details before 5pm Friday for your chance to win!