WRITTEN BY: Vince Barreras
The first release of 2020 for Funeral Party Records is Reuban Sawyer’s project, The Column. For anyone who follows Sawyer’s work, he dropped this new EP Sparrow’s Tongue less than a month after his other project Anytime Cowboy released its debut full-length. Sawyer is not the only busy one here. Funeral Party Records is shaping up to have an incredible calendar year as this is the first of three releases to be dropped within the first half of the year as part of their catalog. The Column is number one with True Body and Fearing each planning their debut full lengths on the label within the next couple weeks. In Sparrow’s Tongue, the old formula of electronic and different pop elements exists. Obviously, after previously listening to Anytime Cowboy, similarities will be drawn but for the most part, these two releases exist in their own universe quite well. More melodic guitars, and rhythmically dense bass and drums lead this EP towards the finish line and it never finds itself getting stale. Four tracks that are a nice piece for fans of The Column, and a nice introduction to first time listeners.
Per Funeral Party Records newsletter for the press release of this EP, “Sparrows Tongue finds Sawyer pondering the meaning of modern life and consumerism over pounding drums, lofi bass, and reverb washed guitars.” This is an incredibly accurate summation of this record and also what seems to be Sawyers distinct style and sound. He makes records that have really melodic qualities, that combine these different electronic elements that allows each song to have way more depth than say a straightforward rock or pop song. Reuban creates his own universe with these sounds, and his distinct vocal pallet helps The Column stand out within any one genre.
The first track “Laughing Bells” has a really pleasant guitar riff that opens up the EP into a poppy track that’s both upbeat but offers the kind of dark instrumentation that is a staple in any work that Reuban puts out. “Tastes the Same” has a mood that’s more low key, but has a nice flowing tempo, with its rolling drums, synth loops, and high bass lines that makes this a track really starts to build the mood for the EP. “Sparrow’s Tongue” takes that same type of rhythm and amplifies the instrumentation a bit more than the previous track. Reuben’s reverb-soaked vocals carry the track from beginning to end. As he flows with the keyboard to create an almost ambient like experience. It’s a minimal electronic track that again is an amalgamation of different genres. “Modern Hysteria” is the concluding track that is dark, and above all infectiously repetitive in its beat that will have the listener tapping their foot until the closing seconds of the ep.
For people who don’t know, Reuben Sawyer is incredibly prolific. With this being his second record of the year, it seems the Column may not be done for the year as Funeral Party has hinted at the possibility of more from Sawyer. In conjunction with these two releases, Sawyer actually released another single for another collaborative project, Window, with an EP that will be released by the time this review is published. What Reuben Sawyer does with his music is what so many can only attempt to do, and that is create a world so effectively around them. When you listen to a Sawyer project it will be apparent, but keep you on your toes. They will take you for a trip and a detour you weren’t expecting. He’s one of the most original artists out right now, and anyone curious should support his projects.
For Fans of: Anytime Cowboy, Window, Fearing
- Laughing Bells
- Tastes the Same
- Sparrow’s Tongue
- Modern Hysteria