Saso Sandic is a singer/songwriter born in Slovenia, now based in New York. He has worked with an impressive line up of session and touring musicians and recorded his latest EP Someone With A Strange Side A with bassist Tony Garnier who has played with Bob Dylan, guitarist Oz Noy, drummer Joe Bonadio who played for Sting and keyboardist Clifford Carter who played for James Taylor. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, the album was engineered, mixed and mastered by Grammy winners Matt Shane, Mario J McNulty and Dave McNair who have worked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie. Someone With a Strange Side A consists of three tracks that are an eclectic mix of post-punk and Indie rock.
The album started with the title track “Someone With a Strange” which was soft and mellow with beautiful guitar and gentle harmonies. Sandic’s voice is understated and clear with a very endearing quality about it. I really sank into this song. It’s completely original yet familiar somehow and beautifully arranged. The piano comes in at a perfect spot and compliments the chorus perfectly. The sound reminded me of The Eagles mixed with The Cure with maybe even a little Radiohead thrown in. The production quality is stellar and the song is a complete package, nothing is lacking. I listened to it several times before moving on to the next track.
The second track, “Open”, had a darker feel to it. Sandic’s vocals on this track reminded me of Thom Yorke and had more of an intensity than the previous song. Again the song was perfectly arranged strategically with instrumental performances that complimented the edginess of the song. I especially enjoyed the whisper in the vocal halfway through the track. The lyrics give the impression of being restless and indifferent and everything about the song worked in that context.
The final track “Cryin’ Spade” was more upbeat with a cool complex arrangement with lots of guitar and repetitive lyrics. It still had a darker edge to it with ambient harmonies and echoes. Sandic is a very strategic artist and every note is deliberate and works towards the entire end result of the song.
Someone With A Strange Side A is comprised of three very impressive songs. The help of talented musicians is definitely a factor in the overall result, but Sandic is a talented songwriter in his own right. The production quality is extremely tight and professional and every track is meticulously arranged and delivered. I enjoyed it thoroughly and only wished there were more tracks. I’ll be anxiously awaiting more work from Sandic.
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