First a disclaimer, I won’t lie, this kind of music isn’t exactly my style. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed this EP at all. Hell, their debut single “Technicolor” has been putting a smile on my cynical mouth since it was first released about a year ago. All I am saying is that I’m not exactly up to date with pop music so my ability to compare to other acts is limited.
Anyway, smile, and wave is the debut EP from pop group SAINTE, featuring former members of the pop punk band We Are the In Crowd. It features seven tracks including the singles “Technicolor” and “With Or Without Me”.
It’s pretty obvious from the get-go that this project is mainly focused on vocalist Tay Jardine. Not only was she the only band member to feature in two of the three music videos SAINTE has released, but production-wise her voice always overpowers the instruments, which in my opinion is fine for this genre. When I’m in the mood to listen to this kind of music I’m more focused on singing along than anything else. That’s not to say the instrumentation is necessarily bad. It might not be technically amazing when compared to a prog or math rock album but it’s always fitting and appropriate for what SAINTE is trying to do.
For the most part smile, and wave is infectiously catchy. “Technicolor” and “With Or Without Me” hasn’t left my head since they were both released as singles and are certainly the two stand out tracks from this EP. The only track I flat out dislike is “Lighthouse”. To me, this feels like the cliche slow ’emotional’ song an artist tacks on. It just gets in the way of the poppy pacing the rest of the EP has. I also feel the chorus of “Feels So Wrong” lacks drive, which somewhat sucks the energy out of the song.
Although the lyrics can be a bit cliche at times, they’re certainly a lot of fun. They’re simple enough to sing along to and the themes are relatable, but without feeling too contrived. My favourite line would easily be the puntastic pre-chorus in Technicolor (I’m counting one of the reasons, to adore you, three words on my lips, for you always).
The one EP I’d probably compare smile, and wave to is We Are the In Crowd’s Guaranteed to Disagree, which I feel is superior due to the use of second vocalist Jordan Ecks, who truly adds an interesting dynamic to songs such as “Carry Me Home” and “Both Side of the Story”. Guaranteed to Disagree also keeps a more consistent pace and doesn’t really slow down, which is effective for the fun pop-rock vibe it has.
Overall I enjoy smile, and wave. I respect for some people it might be what the movie Wonder Woman was to me, but frankly, I’m too busy singing along to it to really care.