Pastiche, by definition, implies a certain form of malice from its creator. One might draw from a certain genre or style in order to subtly mock it, but Montreal sweetheart Sean Nicholas Savage seems to be operating in a different way.
Everything in his music has led to pastiche before: the cheap synth presets, the 80’s gated drums, the flamenco guitar flourishes, the emotional melisma-inflected vocals… And yet Savage seems to breathe a new life into the music that makes the most out of these elements by associating it with the emotional weight and nostalgia of his lyrics, which by now is a signature move of his. For his latest release, Magnificent Fist, our lonesome balladeer has once again crafted an excellent soft-rock album that is one of his most focused efforts yet.
“Maybe Chain”, one of the album’s highlights, features some of Savage’s most beautifully sung falsetto vocals floating atop a solid drumbeat and washed-out synths. For a song that features lyrics such as “Maybe chain/Maybe I’m in love with you”, it is surprisingly uplifting and even heartwarming.
The album, recorded in Berlin and released by the ever-cool Montreal-based label Arbutus Records, is now available on cassette.