Within the improbable outcome in which romance comes together in full reciprocation at a singular instance, there exists an intricate artistic inspiration in this rare moment of soulful sentimentalism. Enter Canadian art-pop/R&B singer-songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage. Savage has maintained a low profile while establishing himself as one of the hidden gems of pop music.
Within his particular niche of sound, the question is begged whether Savage’s music can be appreciated in the 21st century. Throughout his back catalog, the Canadian singer-songwriter always hinted at charismatic nostalgia, that of the ‘70s and ‘80s namely.
With Yummycoma, Savage heightens his glitzy, glamoured persona and knack for vintage synth pop with a subtle callback to the minimalist environments and eccentric aesthetic of the eighties. With an underlying romanticism as its lifeblood, Yummycoma compiles vignettes that diverge in quality and tone while heavy-handedly paying respect to the likes of Prince, When in Rome and Alphaville, just to name a few.
Even by recognizing how blatant this excursion into wistfulness may appear, Savage manages to keep it fresh and unquestionably himself in the end. With having said that, there is something undeniably youthful and sexy about his music. With a new album released every year for the past five, Savage has continually seduced listeners into a transfixed state, unhinged by dynamic vocals and neo-soft rock vibes that are more evident than ever with Yummycoma. Here, Savage has reached the optimal point in his career-long transition into nostalgic, synth-driven soundscapes.
Unfortunately, many will find it hard to take an album oozing with sunshine and vintage pop seriously. In light of this, there is a large audience void of some Prince-inspired avant-pop who would completely welcome Savage’s latest.
The album’s intro track, “Upon the Surf,” is one that immediately enraptures listeners with a completely placative atmosphere, spruced by heavenly strings and a subtle piano melody that is both warming and mournful. Hushed, reflective and bathed in a melancholic glow, the listener is doused by Savage’s celestial vocals, which quickly augment the track into heavenly proportions—and with an awe-inspiring synth pad beneath it all, the track strikes a precisely emotive chord. From the very first track, it is evident that the listener is about to embark on an album of utmost beauty.
With the next track “Livin it Up,” taking a slight tonal turn, Savage unleashes a gleeful sentiment while exploring ‘80s new wave with a Cars-esque guitar lead that infectiously drives through this hook-driven stunner. The level of songwriting seen in the first two tracks and the following two are possibly the best moments of his career.
Initially, it appears as if all of Savage’s thought and energy was funneled into the first four tracks. While the album tends to briefly meander and detract in songwriting with “Prairie Days” and “Cartoon Days,” Yummycoma picks it back up the rest of the way.
With pleasant remembrances to ‘80s pop music aplenty, in the end, his characteristic use of R&B elements and captivating art-pop cements Yummycoma as Savage’s best record to date. The Canadian synth-pop crooner continues to strengthen his repertoire, build upon his already strong songwriting abilities to construct emotional tunes that manage to capture a past generation while keeping things uniquely him: sexy.
Follow writer Kyle Kohner at Twitter.com/kylejkohner.