SAINTE - Smile, and Wave
4.0Overall Score

Recently, there’s been somewhat of an uprising in artists who blur the line between pop and rock starting to use 80’s electronic influences in their music. Paramore are at the bow of the revolution, having shocked the world with the material featured on their latest album, After Laughter. If you look closely however, you’ll see that this kind of development is almost old hat.

Former We Are The In Crowd members Taylor Jardine, Cameron Hurley and Mike Ferri announced their new project SAINTE late last year, when it became apparent there wasn’t much of a future for their former incarnation. Jardine ensured the band would have a far more “poppier” output than We Are The In Crowd, which was then confirmed with the first track that was released, ‘Technicolor’. The saccharine gem of a song left fans in a middle ground between perplexed and impressed, excited to see what more would come from the camp.

This month SAINTE released their first EP, entitled Smile, And Wave. As well as featuring ‘Technicolor’ and further single ‘With Or Without Me’, the record presents five brand new songs for the band’s intrigued fanbase to stick their teeth in to. ‘Eyes Are Open’ is the aptly titled first offering, and also the latest single which was announced alongside the EP itself. From the very get-go, the tracks makes it apparent that while SAINTE has seen Jardine and co. delve in to the world of bubblegum pop rock, lyrically the new project and We Are The In Crowd are one in the same. Sugar sweet vocals might have you convinced otherwise, but Jardine’s words still have that very sharp edge that her fans have come to know and love.

The EP continues to prove its worth as it plays out, offering hit after hit in a consistent, solid package. It’s clear that there was much more freedom to be had when putting together this record, allowing SAINTE to be creative not only musically but also aesthetically. The latter seems to be quite the big deal for them, with their music videos and artwork following a uniform of highly saturated pigments. That, if anything, has the ability to draw new listeners in— they’ll come for the bright, attractive colours, and stay for the sharp-tongued tales set to huge, catchy melodies.

‘White Lies’ stands out as one of the best SAINTE have to offer, embracing the very unknown in the most brilliant of ways. It doesn’t take much scrutiny before you’ll be singing along without even realising, almost spellbound by Jardine and her incredible range. SAINTE might not be exactly what We Are The In Crowd fans were expecting from the future, but they’ll be fools not to get on board with it.