Sarah McLachlan Debuts New Single "In Your Shoes"—Listen Now and Find Out Her Inspiration!

"It started out as a song about bullying and then Malala [Yousafzai] was shot by the Taliban and that story became big news," the singer says of her new tune

By Alyssa Toomey Apr 01, 2014 4:00 PMTags

She's back!

After a four-year hiatus, Sarah McLachlan has released the first single from her album Shine On, and the feel-good song titled "In Your Shoes" is sure to put a smile on your face while you're tapping your toes to the tune.

E! News has the exclusive premiere of the 46-year-old beauty's new track and we caught up with McLachlan prior to its release to find out her inspiration behind the song, as well as what fans can expect from her upcoming album and tour.

"It isn't about just one thing," McLachlan said when asked to share the meaning behind her song. "It started out as a song about bullying and then Malala [Yousafzai] was shot by the Taliban and that story became big news. She sort of became an inspiration for finishing the song...She's a heroine, for everybody, but these days young girls haven't had a lot of strong role models to look up to, and I think she's just an incredibly positive role model for girls and humanity in general. Obviously, it was a perfect catalyst for me to finish that song."

The tune also is an anthem for women's empowerment, according to the powerhouse vocalist. "I come from a female perspective, and obviously Malala—she's talking about females not being educated. ...So, certainly it is very much a female empowerment song. And I have two daughters so I'm looking for some strong role models for them because there certainly are a lot of girls out there who may be doing their own thing but they're not doing good things. I don't judge anybody but at the same time I'm very pleased when I can talk about somebody in the world who is doing something really important and helpful and quite selfless." 

"We live in such a self-involved society, short-sighted society" she continued. "And here's a girl, a 15-year-old girl, with the strength of hundreds standing up for something she believes in and refusing to back down…I just find that really profound and powerful and something to aspire towards."

As for why McLachlan decided to put out an album out after taking a four-year break from the biz?

"Everybody kept saying, 'Where's your album?!'" she said before joking, "Pressure!"

"In Your Shoes" is also a bit more upbeat than McLachlan typical ballads, and, when asked where the new sound comes from, she admitted "It's just ‘What does the song ask for? Where does it want to go?'"

"I found the song even playing it by myself on piano to be sort of a euphoria about it, like it just feels so good when it breaks into that bridge section, like the sky opens up and it's just so hopeful and I wanted that, like the feeling to be grand and hopeful, like her gesture, what happened to her was so huge and momentous and the strength again was so momentous I wanted the song to sort of emulate that," she explained.

McLachlan will also be going on tour and has already received 14,166 personalized tour city requests. So what can fans expect when Sarah hits the stage?

"I'm still trying to figure that out…I am a musician first and foremost and I think I am a really strong musician and I think the songs are strong enough that I don't want to put on a spectacle, I just want to take people on a journey and music is the first and foremost important thing in that. So, for me, I'm looking at the arc of the show and what the flow is going to be and how it's going to feel."

She continued: "I'm going on with a five-piece, which is a considerably smaller band than I'm used to, but I really try to challenge myself and try and come up with strong musical things in a simplistic way…a lot of this record is like that. There's "In Your Shoes" which is quite rocking and pretty, but there's a lot, as you can expect, a lot of really slow, contemplative songs. I hope there's something in there for everybody."

We can't wait!