Sir Sly’s album is seriously good, creates its own genre

By Brian Miceli, Contributing Writer ||

Sir Sly, American indie pop band originating from Los Angeles, has slowly gained a fan base using online music services. The members include Landon Jacobs on vocals, and instrumentalists Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen. They’ve been making music for years, and had been secretly releasing songs on Soundcloud, which would regularly make the top entries on blog sites like Hype Machine. They have a similar sound to other breakout indie bands such as St. Lucia, The Neighbourhood, and The 1975. Almost two months ago, they released their first studio album called You Haunt Me, and since then their fame has increased dramatically — but not dramatically enough.

Sir Sly has a distinct, haunting sound about their music, almost ghostly, hence the outline of a small ghost on their album covers as the symbol of the band. However, at the same time, their music remains up-tempo and full of energy. They’re a true West Coast band, citing influences such as Drake, and the A$AP mob as seen through their hip-hop drumming patterns. Nicknaming their genre “Sly-fi”, defined by Jacobs as “the mix of electronic and rock elements” is how they attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition. There are a ton of new, young L.A. bands these days, and Sir Sly wants nothing more than to be different. Take the title song “You Haunt Me” for instance. The song touches on the ghosts of old, regrettable relationships with phrases like “tonic and gin, blood’s getting thin, you haunt me. Night after night, losing the fight, you haunt me.”

This part of the song is incredibly mellow and minor, but immediately after this line, Jacobs busts out with “I’m never gonna let you go,” and the song picks up drastically with a heavy drum beat, catchy synths, and a reverberating bass line that makes the song — or lack of a better word — dancy. On a side note, You Haunt Me was remixed by the rising Ryan Hemsworth-like producer Soy Sauce. The remix by Soy Sauce completely blew up last month, now having nearly half a million listens on Soundcloud, so definitely expect more remixes of this track in the future.

In the songs “Gold” and “Ghost,” two of their other singles off the original EP, are a little different. “Ghost” is the first track the band ever released, which made it to number one on Hype Machine. “Ghost” is slow, yet the synths and beat that follow the track give the song a sound that makes the listener want to bob his orher head. “Gold” has the same effect. Never do either of the songs pick up, but they still manage to invoke a certain energy in the listener. The rest of the album consists of more minor-keyed, spooky, catchy tracks.

The whole album follows relationships, helplessness, and loneliness. The sadness is sometimes a little too much, but occasionally songs such as “Nowhere/Bloodlines Pt. 1” take on a major key, which is a nice break from the angst in the tracks. Overall, I loved this album. I listened to at least a dozen times through. It’s a lyrical masterpiece, and Sir Sly’s sound is so unique and new that you won’t hear anything quite like them anywhere else. I would give this album a solid A, I had next to no complaints while listening through this amazing debut album.

Sophomore Brien Miceli is a contributing writer. His email is bmiceli@fandm.edu.

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