Sean Nicholas Savage makes pop music, although he does so outside of the usual pop machine. Pleasingly, this means that his tracks are littered with small oddities, first and foremost his strange, sometimes half-whispered vocal style. Other Death features a guest appearance from Nite Jewel, and is released on Arbutus Records.
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- Other Death by Sean Nicholas Savage
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In the early ’90s a string of adverts were slathered across the small ads pages of the music press advertising a show by someone who I think was called ‘Farouche’ or something similar - Google is useless for such hopeless, pointless, obscure trivia. The guy had blond hair and looked like he was once in Modern Romance. The only reason I bring this up is because Sean Nicholas Savage looks like that guy.
Anyway: his vocals are very similar to that other ‘80s heart-throb Green Gartside, as sweet and saccharine as eating twelve Caramac bars in one go. He fancies himself as some kind of lo-fi Prince, this guy. The songs have that lo-fi unfinished style that is so utilised by the post Ariel Pink generation. Synths are the exact same ones as used on Pointer Sisters ‘Break Out’ album and Savage slathers his sexy, soulful vocals all over them. It’s as smooth and heat hazed as you would expect an album recorded on the shores of Santa Monica to sound.
The TOPS produced ‘Don’t B Sad’ (see? Didn’t I say Prince) is particularly lovely with Hall/Oates ‘I Can’t Go For That’ drum machine and sheets of beautiful 10CC “ I’m Not In Love’ harmonies. Really lovely stuff. Nite Jewel also makes an appearance on the burbly soul of ‘1 More Chance’.
It’s a fascinating record of what we once called ‘guilty pleasures’. Completely, almost absurdly in love with ’80s soul-lite and funk, it still sounds like the strangest thing you’ve ever heard.
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