L.A. based artist “Saro” (Evan Windom), had a great year; from supporting Miguel at Brooklyn’s Northside Festival, to dropping a new EP, to a feature in Rolling Stone Magazine. Looks like 2018 will be just as exciting with Saro releasing the deep track “Vapor”, from his latest EP “Boy Afraid”.
The haunting opening of “Vapor” introduces the snare backdrop mixed with synths, and sets the tone of the song. The song sounds like it definitely has some ‘Weeknd’ and ‘Jeremiah’ influence to it, with a hint of ‘Kygo’ tempo. The beat alteration of fast to slow is a great blend of R&B and soul, combined with smooth transitions between lyrics.
Lyrically, the song is a little darker then the beat. The delivery has a more relaxed and “bleak” tone to it, almost like a play on the concept of rising from the ashes. Growing up listening to every genre, Saro describes himself as a “chameleon and a sponge”, with his style being a reflection of his moods and influences; “I can write happy but happy is boring. No one I know is truly happy so it doesn’t feel sincere. I gravitate toward bleak because bleak surrounds me. I’ll leave happy to Pharrell”. Throughout the album, he likes to; “exude hopelessness…so I don’t have to in real life”. However, while he naps on the studio couch, his producer and an apparent “IDM head”, David Burris, hops on the tracks and “adds his electronic spin”, says Saro, “…It’s like we can’t choose a genre, but I think it’s working out well for us”.
The song “Vapor” is best described by the artist as; “…to become intangible to someone. Someone who was once able to hold you… maybe someone who lacks the ability to open up or provide vital emotional support… so they lose you. And one day when they reach out having realized that life without you isn’t life at all, it’s too late. You have changed state. And through their grasp slips the fog of you, leaving only traces of your memory”. Knowing this description while listening to this song, you can feel the “fog” of his emotions set in: “Lately all of my nightmares come true / And more than a few bleed into you love / I’m praying at your feet to be someone else / Make me forget how far that angel fell…”. That last line: “Make me forget how far that angel fell…” resonates.
The chorus comes in with strong imagery of the emotion attached to the relationship; “Now you won’t recognize me / It’s not in your nature / But when the walls are falling / Someone always gets hurt / Are we too busy dying / Wasting our last words / When you let go you’ll find me / Rising from the vapor…”. The second verse takes a few listens to decipher your own interpretation of it; “How could you come to love / Something I never was / Dragging my face along the base of the well / I’m betraying the calling to be someone else / Make me forget how far that angel fell…”. This verse can be construed in different ways, especially the line; “Dragging my face along the base of the well”. It seems to be a referral to taking, or “scraping” someone’s identity, in an attempt to mould them into your desired figure.
As a whole, the lyrics and tone can also be seen as a reference to a feeling of loneliness and emptiness. A concept that is again reinforced by the third verse; “Look what became of the man with no face / Oh what a shame we’re the same I’m afraid / Make me forget how far that angel…”. The lyrics are also suiting to his handle; “Saro”, which he explained in a recent interview with Rolling Stone Magazine as deriving from “the chorus of “Pretty Girls Make Graves” about ‘sorrow’s native son / He will not smile for anyone’ ”.
The track comes to an end with a soulfully upbeat tone, while finishing with a calmingly smooth R&B echo.
Throw on “Vapor” when you’re in the mood to vibe out and relax, yet have that energetic undertone in your step!