Saint Claire is like intellectual pop - crisp and clean with just a touch of folk alternative. Did I mention some smooth, sexy sax? Because when you have an odd brew of taste already you might as well jazz it up a little. Maybe throw in some pulsing dance drums and a few stringed instruments just to keep the genre lost in complacent ambiguity.
The production on their EPThe District is excellent as well as the execution especially the artful soul of vocal. John Sinclair balances his tenor like a spinning top, ready to accelerate with a swipe of the wrist or halt in dramatic fashion to let the music breathe in response. He explores his register with ease and great ears, treating his voice like the instrument it is and not solely relying on lyrics to facilitate contribution. He glides his tone over interludes with refined falsetto.
I was very pleased with “Bad Habits” and its ability to introduce the band’s sound within just a few seconds. That bright cymbal and delicately delightful piano line ushered in Sinclair’s pipes better than any other. From there, it was only a matter of melodic care and development thanks to the near perfect exposition. On “Diamondback” the band starts to change things up a little with less traditional practice. The drums keep the feet tapping while the music permeates between Dave Matthews and a brand of modern classical. The melodies are strong and get in your head, something I think is very important when you’re giving the listener quite a bit of musical information. The vocals take it to new heights and each leap is right on the note without losing this intangible humbleness.
The last track “Misbehavior” is more playful than the rest and I’m ok with that. It’s a little campy with its off beat bop, but the scat and sax passage is just too cool to write off. The lyrics have solid rhythm and fun interplay with the groove making it ideal for some crowd sing-alongs. Possibly the most generally accepting track on the album, but see for yourself. This EP has plenty of good vibes for all.
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