Sarah McLachlan: Angel
Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda
"And it's hard at the end of the day. I need some distraction. Oh a beautiful release"
Oh and weightless and maybe I'll find some peace tonight"
"In the arms of the angel. Fly away from here"
artist: Sarah McLachlan
songwriter: Sarah McLachlan
date released: 1999 by Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan wrote and recorded 'Angel' in memoriam for a former band member from Smashing Pumpkins who overdosed on heroin and died in 1996. In 'Angel', she paints in bold strokes the deadly emptiness of touring life, where nothing is constant and everything becomes a blur from hotel room to hotel room. "I need some distraction, oh, beautiful release" describes the self-medication professional musicians turn to in an effort to decompress from the highs of performing. Since the song's mainstream success, it has become symbolic of struggles with psychological difficulties such as addiction to drugs and alcohol, suicidal ideation, self-harm, etc.
Sarah McLachlan was born and adopted in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1968. As a young child, she took lessons in classical piano and guitar and voice lessons. She completed high school and one year at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design before she decided to move to Vancouver.
It was on the West Coast in 1988 that McLachlan began her recording career with the album containing the hit single, 'Vox'.
McLachlan's career would culminate in twenty-one Juno Award nominations and eight awards. She has also won three prestigious Grammy Awards. In 1999, she was appointed as Officer of the Order of Canada by then Governor-General, Adrienne Clarkson. In 2001, she was inducted into the Order of British Columbia.
In more recent years, McLachlan opened her philanthropic heart by performing for free benefit concerts for tsunami victims relief. In addition, she founded the Sarah McLachlan Musical Outreach Choir & Percussion Ensemble for inner-city at-risk youth. She also is an avid supporter of the ASPCA and animal welfare where she filmed a two-minute advertisement with her song, 'Angel'. It raised 30 million dollars for the ASPCA.