This blog was completely unscheduled but sometimes you just have to accommodate an unexpected release. It landed with barely few days of warning and to be frank we had listened to the single whole three times in total before making a decision that it required a review. So here we are typing at night. If we were lazy, we could tell you that this song is a banger, a real jaw dropper, a proper killer et cetera. Technically it is true but what a lousy writing that would be!
New single from Manchester based five piece Saytr Play entitled “Second Hand Emotion” deserves so much more than few cliché compliments. The band has poured their hearts out into a three minutes track and created a dark anthem for dark times we are living though. We can think of a handful of artists that could do something similar in recent years so it puts Saytr Play in the same league as The Blinders, Strange Bones, Avalanche Party, Sunflower Bean or She Drew The Gun.
But don`t expect a mosh pit starter. Saytr Play are not Idles, they don`t need to kick the door open to deliver their message. They instead will offer a haunting melody, wonderfully produced and written radio friendly indie track with poetic lyrics. Their strength lies not in angry howls and screams but in how quickly you pick up the song and start singing along with it. Gigwise – who premiered the video – summed it up this way “the single wouldn’t be out of place blasting out of the speakers at the Etihad stadium” and they are spot on. Well, we can take it from there to say that if the band keeps on putting singles like this – soon they will not only be selling out Gorilla or Ritz. They will sell out Etihad itself. Give them five years, a record deal and watch them fly.
“Second Hand Emotion” brings the same feeling as when “Almost A Kiss” by Blossom came out. You could nearly touch the fact that the band were about to hit it big. The sensation is back. If we are not mistaken then another Manchester band will soon need to find new technical help at gigs. (actually, there will be few vacancies to fill in Columbia since Document are also doing remarkably well).
The band prepared a whole package to go with the single. In a video we can see Fred Farrell – charismatic leader of Saytr Play – dressed in immaculate white throwing himself in agony/ecstasy while the rest of the band are shown donning dark clothes like a canvass of darkness. A male figure dances around providing the only other focus point for the viewer. Funnily enough this review contains words “five years” and we can’t stop thinking that there is so much of Bowie in the video. From the elaborate make up (like a modern Nō theatre mask) to unbuttoned shirt to the trademark black heart tattoo Fred Farell is a glam rock god from era passed. A Maxwell Demon at his most powerful if we can throw in a movie reference. There is a sense of mourning as Fred holds a burning candle in his hands.
The video has been directed by Matthew Boone and George Webster of Scruff of the Neck and they did a bloody good job, let us tell you this.
Speaking to Gigwise leader of Saytr Play said “The track’s image explores the vulnerability I feel in today’s society and this idea that we have a voice. In my opinion we don’t have a voice or at least a voice that will be heard. The abstract nature of the image provokes thought. Whatever that may be is irrelevant because it’s your own unique thought! Your second hand emotion.”
The single comes with a black and white sleeve showing a huddled figure – a striking image by Sabrina Olson.
Louder Than War Magazine once described the band as “it’s impossible to bottle lightening, Saytr Play come pretty bloody close”. There is very little to add from us truly.
Fred Farrell, Daniel Crowther, Jamie Vere, Thomas Castrey, Juanan Garcia – you did it. Well done.
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Second Hand Emotion is released on band`s own label Lovers Music Records