Kooky debut from Nashville resident.
The self-titled debut of Nashville resident Sara Bug is a smorgasbord of influences and imaginative songwriting. It opens with ‘Die With You’, a slacker hymn with wild orchestration and an indie heart that reveals Bug’s voice as a Kate Bush / Gwen Stefani hybrid that is placed front and centre of all the tracks. There are quirky rhythms and sensibilities at play here but there’s also a broader palette and the arrangements are given time to unfold such as in the coda to the hypnotic ‘Rosebank’ for example.
‘Lost Track’ feels lo-fi but isn’t as it gloriously explodes into the chamber pop bridge full of heavenly harmonies all bouncing off each other. ‘Purgatory is a beguiling paean, splashed with colour by a mournful fiddle and a sultry backing, ‘Ride on Sundays’ has a girl group soul feel with coy vocals offset by the sixties stylings – melancholy and naïve. A great pop song especially the coda. ‘Doo Doo Song’ is similarly ploughing that ironic ingénue furrow. Childlike vocals, knowing lyricism and a bubblegum styling to the sounds.
As the album progresses it becomes clear that Bug’s voice has a potentially divisive quality, it is, as mentioned beguiling and compelling but it could equally be taken as affected and irritating. This reviewer is firmly on the side of the former and repeated plays highlight the production and musicality on display and put this concern to bed.
An assured debut that promises much.
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