26 September 2023


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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Saturday’s Child, Possum Records/Michael Matthews Media 2022.

This single is the first I’ve heard of Saturday’s Child and I like what I’m hearing.

It’s a cool, restrained, R&B single built around a standard descending chord structure that’s maintained throughout the song, but doesn’t need a middle-eight to enliven the tempo.

The closest we get to a break is the clever use of maintaining rhythm while dropping out the other instruments.

It works well as a de facto chord shift while maintaining the feel of the track.

Saturday’s Child is a project created by singer/songwriter/producer duo Victor Stranges and Frank Apicella.

They met while attending a recording session run by legendary Australian producer Mark Opitz AM at the Thirty Mill Studios in Melbourne and immediately connected.

Victor and Frank employed the vocal services of Melbourne based R&B singer Emma Jay who delivers a smooth soul drenched vocal that greatly enhances the track.

The use of real drums that haven’t been auto corrected via quantising to ‘standardize’ the tempo is an inspired decision.

This track maintains a personal touch that reinforces the lyrical content, which is about a relationship on the rocks.

As I’ve often said, and I repeat it again, the vast majority of humans do not have perfect timing so when drum machines are used and everything is synched to them, the track becomes too clean and precise.

In these circumstances the soul of the song is often lost and songs that are actually well written and performed become fairly ordinary and run-of-the-mill.

A good number of drummers do use drum machines these days, especially in live performance, to hold down parts of the rhythms while they adorn it with emphasising fills.

This approach still allows the human element and slight randomness associated with it to exist.

I commend Victor and Frank on their decision to avoid the easy, and far too common, approach.

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