We all like an authentic artist. One who grows from their roots and doesn’t take some fancy ‘You’re suddenly fit and a fantastic singer’ pill. Toronto-based SayWeCanFly is a not a fresh face on the music scene, debuting his most recent work – the EP ‘Darling’ – to the world after almost five years of industry time.

The frontman (and only man) writes his own songs, sings them, and even plays his own instruments. So this EP has some potential budding right from the get-go. Alongside a streak of albums and tours, he has nearly 150K YouTube subscribers and 700K Facebook likes, making him quite established in terms of image and music. This is quite an achievement for anyone in the industry, so I had high hopes when plugging in my earphones and listening to his music for the first time.

The title track ‘Darling’ is a quirky yet cynical track that vaguely reminds me of All Time Low in terms of tone and style. My favourite song from his EP though is ‘High School’, which he released an animated video for. The message portrayed in this song is incredibly potent. It is described by SayWeCanFly’s Braden Barrie as how the world has lost its mind, and humans have completely lost touch with each other’.

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It sets this tone through both the lyrics and the video, with such imagery as militants and police officers punishing school children, and lines like ‘the Devil holds our soul, so don’t let go’. His lyrics are very emotive and poetical, but hover between sheer brilliance and over-the-top ponce here and there. The simplicity in terms of instruments used really helps the words shine, with the bare minimum guitar and drums adding a beat to his tale.

He does sound quite auto-tuned in a lot of places. I would have loved to hear some rawness in his voice, as with an emotional song like this the singer doesn’t need to be so polished or effected. The sudden change in tone between his verses and choruses put me off a bit as well, as he goes from being matter-of-fact to being crooney and upbeat in a few songs.

A minor thing, but there’s no musical link between them and it takes away from the intense atmosphere he is trying to create. Some of his songs (‘Better Off Alone’ and ‘Coming Home’ notably) also sound quite similar to each other, which I suppose is inevitable when you write your own songs with no alternative input.

Overall, this is a solid EP, which has some amazing highs and some lows that nit-picky people may not like. SayWeCanFly is not quite like other artists musically, but he is certainly worth a listen for anyone and everyone. If you’re looking for a way to quench your anger at the world without rioting or signing Change.org petitions, then I highly recommend listening to this EP, which you can check out here. It is definitely one of the music industry’s hidden gems!

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