Not quite indie, not quite hip-hop but guaranteed to appeal to fans of both, the lead track from North London duo Saz’s upcoming EP ‘Dredful’ provides the listener with an ethereal aural experience. You can hear the influence from second-wave trip-hop king Bonobo in the lo-fi production, but while the track is downtempo in its essence, there is much more going on here.
Although the sound is reminiscent of chill-out, ambient tracks; the overall effect is different. The song manages to encapsulate with impressive verisimilitude the thoughts and feelings of a deep, paralyzing depression and the lyrics reference the oppressive sense of stagnation that accompanies such a mindset (‘I’m not ok, I can’t explain, it doesn’t even matter anyway, it won’t go away’).
The vocal delivery serves as the perfect vessel for the subject-matter. The pair alternate between an irreverent low monotone and a distorted, almost-falsetto sound, symbolising the oscillation between extreme apathy and uncontrollable despair.
The accompanying guitar is pure 2009-era foals, before the monstrously upbeat ‘My Number’, and adds a melancholic depth. This prevents it from feeling flat and featureless, as is a danger for tracks of this type, and the resulting sound is still minimalistic, but never empty.
The power of ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ lies in its considerable emotional nuance. This highly unusual for an electronic, trip-hop adjacent track, especially one that comes so early in the artists’ career. We only hope that their eventual full-length release brings more of the same.
If you like what you hear, check out more of Saz on the links below: