Artist: Angela Sawyer
Title: On The Pedestrian Side
Keywords: duck that experimental exusamwa preggy peggyweirdo records avant-garde boston electroacoustic lazy babymakers modern musique concrete noise weird popOakland
Label: Weird Ear Records
Angela Sawyer has a typical voice that probably isn’t for everyone. It’s like the marketing slogan for marmite ‘you either like it or not’. If tuning into this album is your the first time to hear this artist sing and play, it might be a good tip to just throw away your expectations and play it with a fresh open mind (and ears). The more you hear it, the more you probably enjoy it.
I guess it might be a bit of a shock ‘the uniqueness’ of Angela Sawyer’s potent singing sound, she just doesn’t sound like any other singing person out there. At first glance it can feel a bit overwhelming to hear her vocal abilities skillfully cheering up the authentic experimental folkish notes of weirdo music playing, but when you take a step back, keep your automatic judgement a bit at bay you will probably notice that her voice is a miracle. It’s an instrument on its own, a very unique instrument with tonal resonance that made me think of a bizarre flute-trumpet, something that has never been seen or heard before, carefully able to create music in a complete new level and style.
It’s pretty rare that a eccentric instrument on its own is next to producing tones also able to produce words, lyrics – songs. Once you respect these qualities of Angela Sawyer you probably tune in more often, start to respect the unique oddness that makes you feel like you are listening to a life-like fairytale character that somehow can meow like a cat and speak the human language at the same time.
Most beloved song that spoke to me the most on this fine album of her is ‘Is It Really Me?’. A song so fun and compact, with cute sounds and fine warmth in which the quirkiness works so well that it becomes the song you probably want to play on repeat. It’s like a alternative fun pop song that sounds communicated from the artist’s closest personal space; each time it parades out of my speakers I feel a pleasant smile magically appearing on my face. To me it’s the hit on this album, a song that makes instantly happy while not being bombastically in the face, but rather cute and upbeat. If Everyone would play this a million times on repeat the world wouldn’t go mental but probably would be a very happy place.. even the haters of marmite will probably dig this one!
But it’s not just this song that tickles my fancy, the whole album is a good listen. I love the little harmonies, the rhythms, the lack of being afraid to experiment. The literal and physical honesty that drops out of all these songs. The sweetness of thoughts in I wonder as I wander, the sleepy sexy funkiness of muffled drums while expressing dreams of boys in ‘Millicent Bell’, the livability of ‘the knife I carry’… may this knife be used to open your heart if it was closed and let the pure thoughtful music of Angela Sawyer in: