By Quentin Clearly
This week on June 6, electro-R&B singer/songwriter, Saro, released his third EP Die Alone, his most delicate yet dynamic batch of songs to date, produced by his longtime collaborator David Burris.
Each song from Saro is a direct channeling of raw feeling—a mission fulfilled through the L.A.-based-artist’s freestyled melodies, untethered vocals, and lyrics sparked from pure stream-of-consciousness.
But with his graceful songcraft and subtly commanding voice—an otherworldly instrument that endlessly drifts from airy falsetto to soulful intonation—that outpouring achieves an indelible elegance. The effect is both dreamlike and disquieting, and ultimately lends Saro’s noir-pop an intense hypnotic power.
Throughout Die Alone, Saro matches his moody complexity with sonic volatility, his songs veering from the bright R&B-pop of “Field of Bees” to the garage-fueled urgency of “Snowblind” to the beat-heavy frenzy of “Justify.”
Meanwhile, the EP’s stripped-down and shimmering title track unfolds with deliberate formlessness. “For ‘Die Alone,’ I just sang a poem I’d written, and went with whatever melody naturally came out,” says Saro. “There was no structure to the music, and in the first take the whole song just fell into place.”
Another hauntingly stark track on Die Alone, the piano-driven “Duplex” marks the first time that Saro has ever used male pronouns in lyrics addressing a love interest. “To me, that song’s about being young and not understanding your sexuality,” he says. “I’ve never really had a coming-out moment with my fans, so this is the first time I’m being really truthful about my sexuality in my songs.”
And on the gently devastating “Nothing Remains,” Saro delivers the EP’s most gut-wrenching vocal performance.
“I was completely destroyed when I made ‘Nothing Remains,’” he recalls. “I’d just had my heart broken for the very first time in my life, and I went into the studio and sang my heart out—I didn’t really even write the lyrics, they just came out of me like a flood. By the time I was done I was shaking and so weak, I went home and slept for days.”