A little over a week ago, I saw the music video for album opener “U&I” for the first time. The two featured artists, Sansol the Artist and Peregrine, had both been known by different names until relatively recently. I had heard a few singles from Sansol already, but this song seemed to herald a new era. I was also beginning a week-long self-imposed quarantine because of a COVID scare. This song added a slick silver lining to a mood of uncertainty in my life, as I and society in general seemed to enter a new phase of the pandemic.
Sad But True as a whole is a slick-hip hop/pop fusion record that seems to be brutally honest and reflective of my feelings on life at the given moment. Knowing a bit of the storyline behind this artist, I can say that my trials pale in comparison, but I won’t get into the specifics here. Sad But True as a whole is a jarring reminder of the fact that we all live in a broken world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it. In Sansol the Artist’s case, he takes his emotions and douses them with pop sheen and creative production that should be on the radar of music snobs.
Perhaps no song exemplifies the creativity of Sansol the Artist better than “Holograms.” This song sounds like Post Malone and Thom Yorke hung out together for a few hours and mixed their streams of consciousness together. I’m sitting here listening to this song while the sun is out, and it feels out of place for me to be doing so.
Another noteworthy thing about this album are the artists featured. It reads like an all-star lineup of the Nashville alt/pop scene. Daniella Mason and Andreas Moss were favorites of mine at a SXSW showcase a few years ago, and I could detect their handprints on the songs within seconds of each starting—the former’s bright, powerhouse vibe, and the latter’s sensual, soulful imprint. The aforementioned Peregrine lent an ethereal, rich hook to the album opener.
Scrolling down to the artist’s bio on Spotify, I see one word: “Damn.” Capping off what has been a hard year for us all, that’s no doubt what many of us are thinking. I’m hopeful that this artist is able to move on from this sad phase at some point, but for now the soundscapes are satisfying and slick.