It’s been far too long since we’ve heard much from the We Are the In Crowd camp. Now though three members of the band are back with a new name, SAINTE, a distinctly refreshed sound and approach and new EP – ‘smile, and wave’. It’s hard to deny that the results are striking, and on the face of it, a change very much for the better.
SAINTE’s sound doesn’t entirely ditch the WATIC playbook, but sonically it manages to effortlessly hit a sweet spot halfway between the earnest electro-tinged pop-rock of Paramore’s self-titled effort, and the more bombastic vibrant synths of Pvris. If that sounds rather delightful and easy on the ear, it is very much so.
Additionally, without having to fit the back and forth vocal switching of her previous outfit, Tay Jardine’s delivery and writing comes across as much more intense and able to probe reflective depths, particularly on the thundering ode to moving on and self-healing ‘White Lies’. Ditto for powerful depression banishing closer, ‘If You Ever Alone’, which features gorgeous guitar lines that zip and swirl around the synths before the track breaks out into a big, bold and brassy chorus.
Earlier ‘Technicolor’ stands out as an EP highlight, its synths adding endless dimensions and vigour to the WATIC blueprint, while also boasting some sterling bass grooves to back one of the greatest vocal performances we’ve ever heard from Ms Jardine. One shot of this and the addictive guitar and synth hooks of ‘With or Without Me’ and you’ll be fully behind the fresh vibe SAINTE are aiming to achieve. Elsewhere, ‘Feels So Wrong’ shows the band can also nail vintage, retro feeling synth-driven tracks with more aplomb and authenticity than many of their peers.
Sure SAINTE are repositioning themselves into a sound and style of music that others have made fashionable and on trend in recent years, but Tay and her bandmates make it feel their own and show a maturity, versatility and knack for luscious multi-faceted pop that they would have struggled to achieve in their previous guise.
‘smile, and wave’ EP by SAINTE is out now.
Words by Dane Wright (@MrDaneWright)