This fall sees the release of Sean Nicholas Savage‰۪s latest record, Other Death. Savage, a master of tenderness, reflection and projection, has released and toured relentlessly in pursuit of the rarer beauties found only in the nuance of pop song and performance.
Other Death was recorded in Santa Monica, Los Angeles as a collaboration with Agor, of Savage‰۪s Arbutus labelmates Blue Hawaii, while Errhead of Doldrums plays on much of the record. Ramona Gonzalez, aka Nite Jewel, also makes an appearance, as do TOPS' Jane Penny and David Carriere. This is Savage‰۪s highest fidelity recording to date, with daring, captivating, and as always minimal and soft production style. In contrast to his usual introspection, Other Death is immediately more upbeat, uptempo, confident, inspired and delivers more consistent pop singles than any of his previous records.
The record begins aptly with ‰Û÷Death‰۪, a brief instrumental in the Joe Hisaishi vein. This is followed by ‰Û÷Propaganda‰۪, a ballad in 7/4 timing and less political as the title suggests, with a more philosophical message comparable to Radioheads' ‰Û÷Creep'. 'Casablanca' is a Prince-esque pop tune, perhaps the poppiest on the record, with a seemingly simple sentiment: a short-lived relationship that, though full of passion, is doomed by life. 'Dont B Sad', produced by David Carriere with guest vocals by Jane Penny of TOPS, is smooth and circular; a gentle pat on the necks of sad folk everywhere, with a disco beat. 'Suburban Nights' is one of Savage‰۪s finest ballads to date, with a special new 6 time beat, fusing reggae, house and bossa nova rhythms. Other Death concludes with another bossa nova derived, and shamelessly sensitive, song titled ‰Û÷Young Again‰۪. Epic with strings, and ending the record in a spiritually possessed skat, the principal lyric has Savage crooning: ‰ÛÏYou make me feel like something i‰۪m not; young again, growing old again‰.
Savage is not playing to the middle. Here he gives his listeners, those who crave a harder SNS smack, the energy they crave. This is the release fans will turn to when they want to feel the sophisticated, delicate, and enchanted music of Sean Nicholas Savage at its most brave, free and loud. It‰۪s as if upon being tossed a copy of Other Life, Savage reads the message; ‰ÛÏOther Life?‰ and throws it back at us in blood red, ‰ÛÏOther Death‰.
LP - red vinyl