Welcome to Boombox Blitz, an artist spotlight series showcasing overlooked singers, songwriters and musicians who are quietly taking over the world.
Animalistic hankerings thrive between the winded reeds of the murky forest Saint Slumber have so thoughtfully and passionately nurtured. Their wide-ranging, scatter-brained debut EP, titled YOUTH//1, is a fly-by-night amalgam of clunky garage-band rock, fevered electronica and youthful restlessness, nestled amidst a sharpened self-awareness and euphoric escapism. “I take it just a little bit too far,” they whittle sheepishly on the skin-teethed opener, “Cool,” which sputters with the scrape of guitar and dreamy synths. Formerly known as DAWNS, the trio–comprised of childhood friends Joshua Perna and Aaron Brown with drummer Matt Carpenter–can’t stop until they get enough. The indomitable #YOLO spirit claws and tears throughout their record–“I’ll be young till the day I die,” they whisper through a heavy cloud on “Youth”–and unlike mainstream chart provocateurs The Chainsmokers, there is a bit more grit and detail streaming from their pens.
“It’s been a while since I’ve felt like I’ve moved at all,” they later mourn on “Getaway,” a rather lavish but soft arrangement which reconsiders their destiny. There is a quiet unease through which they view the world, meandering mindlessly from one moment to the next, not really knowing exactly what it means or what their fate could possibly be. That weighty core is rather unconventional, especially for such glossy and shimmering pop music, but that is what strikes such an affecting consequence. Saint Slumber do not waste a single second, instead placing their lives on the chopping block for the sake of the art. “Human” is blurry-eyed, featuring ghoulish vocal distortion, in which they probe “What am I but skin and bone?” in their search for grander spiritual healing. And on the raucous closer “Need,” they revisit many of the EP’s thread lines: even avowing “I’m only human,” as away to reflect on and process their own careless mistakes. “I swear, I’ve been here before,” they bemoan, a glint of polish peppering their phrasing.
Producing all their own work, Saint Slumber’s imposing, splashy debut frames their masterful skills without pause, indicating they are on the edge of glory and capable of even more colossal things. Their work has not gone unheeded, of course–they’ve opened for such genre-benders as twenty one pilots, Andrew McMahon & the Wilderness and Circa Survive. They’ve graced the fame and fortune and allure they’ve been desperately hunting, and they just might be one song away from the ultimate prey.
YOUTH//1 EP is out now on iTunes, and you can spin it below, via Spotify: