ICYMI — Sara Flows’ Journey is Clear and Honest on ‘How R U Really’

The album artwork for Sara Flows’ newest project, How R U Really, is a portrait of an artist whose fingertips touch every inch of her work — all of it.

It’s all there: the bundle of clouds in the background is a setting indicative of the gushing, dreamy indie rock within the album’s walls. In the foreground, Sara is arched backward, and through the unseen opening in her chest, images near and dear to her soul shoot out as geometric figures. It’s passionate, vividly honest, and arguably most important — it’s from the mind and fingers of the artist in question, whose debut album is do-it-yourself, top to bottom, with no exceptions.

That’s how it’s always been: from the moment she picked up a guitar and pen at age fourteen to the countless street shows around Denver along the way, we arrive at How R U Reallya culmination of life, friends, family, personal and external battles, feeling everything and feeling nothing at all, delivered by Sara with an utmost sincerity you can’t help but latch onto. 

How R U Really‘s strength is in its crystal clear songwriting. So too is her delivery: full-bodied, raw and proud; Sara belts the lyrics she put onto paper during the album’s six-month production. Both assets were shining and present on her 2022 EP, The Age of Aquarius, but here, they’re spilled onto the table for your full attention.

 On “I Hope the Birds Sing,” she croons about a moment in which she drops off her partner at the train station. Before they board, they leave Sara with parting words so resonant, she can’t help but reflect (and name a song after it).

On “Damn, Ur So Fucking Hot,” sparks turn into love-induced flames under Denver lights. “Bury It In The Soul” is a ‘long look in the mirror’-type record — it seems Sara longs for real feeling and wants to leave the chase of an artificial ecstasy behind.

The aforementioned tracks are, respectively, four, three and two on the album, so when flipped and consumed in order, the journey Sara shares on How R U Really becomes conceptually evident. She grew alongside the creation of this album, and while there’s a world of creation ahead, the album’s outro, “Mushy Keys,” helps put it all into perspective.

Like “Be Yourself” from Frank Ocean’s Blonde, Sara Flows delivers a monologue over buzzing piano chords. It’s a fitting, vulnerable ending — a change of pace leaving the listener at peace and, just maybe, a new scope on the pursuit of happiness through the words of an exciting artist who’s (hopefully) only just begun her musical adventure.