New York pop-punkers We Are The In Crowd announced their hiatus in February 2016. After taking some well-deserved time out, considering WATIC didn’t slow down at all between releasing and touring their debut album Best Intentions and then releasing 2014’s follow-up WEIRD Kids, Tay Jardine, Mike Ferri and Cameron Hurley announced their brand-new venture SAINTE last September. Debut single ‘Technicolor’ soon followed, a bubbly upbeat track filled with enticing synth melodies and a vibrant vocal performance. The song, as well as the quirky music video, lived up to its name; it’s an extremely colourful piece of music. ‘Technicolor’ didn’t fall short as it left fans instantly wanting more and after a quiet few months SAINTE have certainly delivered more with the release their debut EP Smile, and Wave
Compared to WATIC the sound that SAINTE have embraced with this record is all-together more pop-orientated, which isn’t surprising considering Jardine has previously cited artists such as P!NK and Alicia Keys as some of her biggest influences. The synth elements that are weaved continuously throughout the EP make for excellent hooks particularly in tracks ‘With or Without Me’ and ‘Feels So Wrong’. Both packing a fierce punch as Jardine delves into the depths of deteriorated friendships and relationships, making for an excellent contrast to the love-struck lyrics of ‘Technicolor’.
‘Lighthouse’ acts as the EPs ballad and is a highlight for Jardine, as she offers an emotional performance within a warm vocal melody. With lyrics that capture both hope and hopelessness alike it’s a vulnerable offering that makes for a welcome change of pace in the pop-rock, synth-filled world that is ‘Smile, and Wave’. Hearing the variety produced with ‘Lighthouse’ could leave you wishing there were some more elements displayed throughout the EP, however, if the time comes for a full length album this will be the time for these elements to come to fruition.
In an interview with Kerrang! Magazine last year Jardine made fans aware that We Are The in Crowd had recorded a new record however the outcome was something that didn’t feel like WATIC to the band, therefore, they felt it would be truer to themselves, and the fans, to release this new material when the time was right. SAINTE became the result of this and ‘Smile, and Wave’ is utterly fulfilling to listen to. It’s clear that Jardine is perfectly in her element and SAINTE have grasped a strong identity for themselves that makes their already infectious sound even more contagious.
Review by Phoebe Constable