by Tiana Feng
Release Date: May 13th, 2014
Label: Arbutus Records
It was only last year that Sean Nicholas Savage gave us Other Life, but he’s known to churn things out quickly and Bermuda Waterfall may as well be his 11th album. The exact number I am not sure as it’s hard to keep track and consider what counts (so many EP and cassette releases).
Anyways , Bermuda Waterfall remains as romantic as Other Life but with more confidence. I mean for heaven-sake he chose to put a 1 minute and 45 second instrumental (“Boogie Nights”) as the opener. “Naturally” follows in Savage’s signature crooning style decorated by light stick taps, keeping to the minimalistic style of his previous works. The music is still introspective, yearning for that someone or something. We hear it in the aching loneliness of the title track, which actually sounds like there’s a waterfall in the background.
That’s not to say the album is depressing by any means. He knows when to put in an upbeat tune like “The Rat” or something with playful synths (“Empire”). “Heartless” is like a modern-take on those Phil Collins tunes my parents used to love in the 90s. The emotion is emphasized with Savage’s swelling dynamics and slightly richer arrangement percussion-wise. My personal favourite is “Darkness” where he sings, “If you really want it, I’m the kind of guy that will give into misery” , the descending piano resembling the plunge into darkness. The pitter patter of rain is heard in the backdrop of “Please Set Me Free”.
It always amazes me how Sean Nicholas Savage can delve into almost lounge-singing territory (“Vampire”) but never boring. If he were to be any type of character, he’d probably be the guy alone at home belting out monologues of loneliness, happy to have any sort of human interaction.