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- Other Life by Sean Nicholas Savage
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It’s been a while since I last reviewed a record. ‘Other Life’ by Montreal resident and best kept lo-fi pop secret Sean Nicholas Savage has been having a positive effect on my ability to work in a relaxed and efficient way which, incidentally, leaves me a few spare minutes to commit a few words to review. Couldn’t tell you a huge amount about Sean. He has a number of records available that sound (on description) to be very different from the promo I’m listening to right now. There’s confessional folk (‘Movin’ Up In Society’), trippy AM romance (‘Trippple Midnight Karma’) and Caribbean future punk (‘Won Ton Jaz’).
The reason I’m prompted into review mode is that ‘Other Life’ totally reminds me of the undeniable charm of Autre Ne Veut’s s/t debut for Olde English Spelling Bee and the brilliance of Julian Lynch’s cover of ‘Human Nature’ for Underwater Peoples’ Michael Jackson tribute album (well worth checking out btw). Savage’s gall is apparent from the get-go. He opens the album with ‘She Looks Like You’, a song that echoes the skeletal beauty of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colours’, a tune that almost always brings a tear to the eye. From here on out we are treated to twelve brittle odes to ‘80s pop nostalgia written by a gifted songwriter and narrator with a knack for the emotive.
It loses its way a little toward the end occasionally slipping into wierd easy listening territory but, for the most part, this is a worthy listen, especially if you’re in the mood for subtle, emotive synth pop with that knowing tongue-in-cheek sense of the melodramatic. Savage’s interpretation of this era of pop is unbelievably articulate and intimate considering the stripped back nature of these fairly primitive bedroom productions and bodes well for future releases. I’ve got a soft spot for this sort of stuff so maybe don’t take my word for it but if you liked Autre Ne Veut’s recent ‘Anxiety’ LP then you might wanna at least give this a little preview.
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