Updated: Mar 14
After signing with independent label Dope Hitz Entertainment in 2018, the Philadelphia band, Sawyer, has gone on to create multiple great tracks that any crowd can jam to. Drawing inspiration from the greats before them like Motown, Bruce Springsteen, and Hootie & the Blowfish, you catch the same energy in Sawyer's music with the mixtures of rock, pop, and soul. In today's world you can still catch many of these classic bands music played on a consistent basis with such timeless music. The difficulty is find new bands that play to that same tune and style with any level of success. Sawyer manages to consistently capture lightning in a bottle with expressing this same sound and style in their music, and doing it with a high level of quality and success in this new day and age.
With a generation that is focused on "hit records", streaming numbers, and social media followers, Sawyer goes against the wood grain. With little to no social media at all and a scarce trail of records on streaming services, Sawyer stays true to itself and not bending to the will that today's trends demand. Sawyer commits itself to success in performance with playing live shows and reaching fans directly. There is great admiration to be found in a band that stays true to its identity and sticks to doing what they want. Fans can easily attach themselves to a band that is real, raw, and true. This all goes deeper than just how they operate as a band, this identity is entrenched deep into their music as well. With true and raw sound, no editing, crazy effects, or over the top tuning, there is a great appreciate for music that you can listen to live or in your headphones and get the exact same product.
With their last EP “Soul City”, Sawyer is showing the same commitment of truism, but putting on display their commitment to hit the next gear musically. While their past records have been great jam records ready for any bar, they come out swinging with their new project ready to make crowds get up on their feet.
The guitar play has flawlessly smooth chords that resonate with little effort. The drum work is powerful and crisp that absolutely can not go unnoticed. The vocals are strong, smooth, and consistent through each track. To most fans, the primary connection is made to the vocals of the track and can seem to make or break records. For Sawyer, it’s the high level of play between all the instruments and vocals, connecting, that make each of their records so strong. I assume with how strongly connected the overall play is, the chemistry between each member of Sawyer, goes unmatched. It is an underrated component of great music, having a strong connection and synergy among all members.
In the track “U Never Know”, Sawyer provides a nice steady track that you can consistently find yourself tapping your knee with. The guitar and vocals really carried the track in my opinion. The guitar jams hard in this track with moments that it shines on its own. The vocals are loud and exciting throughout with the addition of a harmonic “ooohhh ohhhh” added in that makes for a fun time for crowds to sing with.
In “Down Motown” I found the track to fit in perfectly right after “U Never Know”, as it carries a nice uptempo energy that keeps rocking. I found the vocals to impactful again and enjoyed the space of allowing the guitar, bass, and drummer go to work for a solid slot of time in this record. This allows the listener to ride the energy of the instruments for a period and the players behind them to shine for a moment. The track wraps up with a nice roll of multiple vocals.
The next track “Sleep” that was the lead single off of the EP, shines bright. I have zero resistance to this track being the lead single as this record really puts on a full display of their overall talent. The drummer is on point, guitar work is flawless, and the vocals provide a variable mixture from start to finish. This record is a clear cut choice as a favorite as I could see it being more universally accepted by larger and diverse crowds.
The EP wraps up with the track “Hey DJ”, of which I found to be the perfect track to end the project on. With an EP or album, artists and bands usually have a variance of reasons in deciding how to close their project. I find the best method to be closing projects with a track that kind of has a different style or sound compared to the rest. In a sense, I like to see an end to a project using a more experimental sound. I found the track to have more of a punk / pop vibe to it. Some may feel drawn away from it do the different nature of the track but I actually found it very appealing to have a track that rides in a different lane than the tracks that come before it. I thought this was a fun way to end the EP.
Following the release of “Soul City”, Sawyer has a pending album release titled “Happy Hour” coming in May 2020. After such a strong performance in the EP “Soul City”, the anticipation for the upcoming album is sure to have fans excited. Complex Magazine raves the album as "The best debut of all time", which is no small feat. The album is an eight track album that brings even more power, punch, and delivery than the EP. If you enjoyed the EP, the album is sure to knock you off of your feet.
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