Rating – 4/5
Saga is the third single from Gürl, a triumvirate comprising Joshua Dalton, Seb Pelter and Jonny Turner. The single is a slow burner and it builds from a sparse darkness into something slightly more vocal and visceral, the piano giving it soul and a thread that runs through it like a spine.
It’s not an upbeat quirky little number to say the least. It’s reminiscent of the dark days in the immediate aftermath of a break up. The parts where you revel in the pain, let it all in and quite usually try and drown it with alcohol. The ending feels like a corner has turned, at least slightly, with the guitar driving the vocal into something with more passion and self belief. It does then play out with a piano solo that suggests, as is often the case, that the recovery isn’t a straight line and the pain will linger for a good while yet.
It’s emotive and the lyrics back up the sense of rejection and loss that the music conveys, showing the apparent lack of self worth found when someone close to you no longer sees you in the same way. The pain is etched through the vocal like a message in a stick of rock. It’s not all wailing and woe is me attitude however. It’s soulful, real and stirs the empathetic bones of anyone who’s been in the same sort of position.
Essentially the single is that friend that comes over to get you blind drunk rather than the one that recommends you quit social media and get down the gym. We all need that friend sometimes. There’s a nod to classical, soul, rock and even hip hop elements that run through the track so it’s texture and complexity are a welcome surprise considering it’s relative simplicity and dialed down nature. Heavy Heart, an earlier single from Gürl was a notable effort, and Saga fits right alongside it. Definitely one to keep an eye on. We look forward to the next single.
Review by James Clinch