By: Anna Roth
A dark, champagny music flows out of my speakers when I hit play on Sir Sly’s newest EP, “Gold.” It’s an easy listen, and I get through three times playing the full album before I start writing.
Having never heard Sir Sly before, I think at first of a chiller Friendly Fires mixed with some Atlas Sound. Reviewers have alluded to singer Landon Jacobs’ sounding like Coldplay’s Chris Martin or Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, and I have to agree. The power of suggestion is strong; once I hear the similarity I have to say it’s a spot on assessment.
The trio’s emphasis on lyrics and melody is refreshing in a world of electronic music that has become experimental in the extreme, arguably at the expense of intelligibility. The words are moody, yet compelling, with a cleverness to them. On “Ghost”, Jacobs sings about an actual ghost, rather than a failed relationship, a well-worn trope to anyone who listens to any kind of music. “Ghost” also features appropriately creepy, ethereal percussion, synth, and breathy backup from the other band members that rounds out the song’s effectiveness.
Of particular note is the EP’s title track, the slightly peppier “Gold.” Jacobs shows off a rap inclination in the chorus, “Mouth is made of metal/pocket full of yellow/pocket full of gold/and I hope you find/I hope you find your dreams.” The song is an anthem for failed or past relationships. An insistent percussion makes it a little aggressive, and yet Jacobs doesn’t sound particularly upset, more resigned to the outcome.
“Where I’m Going” moves the band into slightly more optimistic territory, with lyrics that suggest moving on from a negative past towards a grander goal, with the chorus: “That’s what I want/that’s what I need/That’s where I’m going/That’s where I wanna be.” For three guys recording, mixing, and mastering their music in their home studio, “Where I’m Going” seems the most indicative of the band’s collective ambition and hopes for the future.
Keep an eye on Sir Sly – wherever it is they’re going, it promises to be somewhere directly in the public.