ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY HEART EYES MAGAZINE.
Photos by Daniel Chaney
I love music that gives me a choice—I can either mindlessly listen and drift off to sleep, or think through moving lyrics and the feelings they elicit. Sawyer’s newest EP Less Than More Than gives me that option. Released October of this year, Less Than More Than creates space for every woman finding herself in life’s transitions and all the confusion that accompanies them. Whether you’re between relationships, homes, or jobs, Sawyer has a song for you.
Comprised by Emma Harvey and Kel Taylor, the Nashville-based duo come in hot with their first track “Emotional Girls.” The perfect intro to this synth-pop collection, the song satirically details the thought process of a single guy who just can’t seem to get it right. Sawyer uniquely spins the breakup narrative by telling the story from what they assume to be the guy’s perspective (i.e. It’s not his fault. How could he be expected to listen that often?).
With the track that follows, we hear another side of the story. “Know Me” admits fault on the other end of a relationship, shedding light on the truth that relationships fail in the wake of poor communication. The alt-pop track smoothly shares what so many feel but can’t put into words:
“I don’t know me, so you don’t know me.
And it gets lonely when I want to let you in.”
Sawyer follows that transitional theme, bringing us from one existential struggle to the next. In “Know Me,” we face our responsibility to know what we need and communicate it well. In “Older Now,” we find ourselves in a void, caught between the nostalgia of the past and the uncertainty of the future; Sawyer executes this in a way that calmly carries the listener through the whole song to the other side.
The next track, “I Don’t Know How To,” validates the feeling of confusion, telling the listener that it’s okay not to have all the answers. When we’re in-between two stages of life, we can feel stuck; we have come too far to go back, yet the destination seems so far away. At this point, it’s okay to admit what we don’t know and Sawyer does so in such a dreamy way.
The final track ties the EP together with a beautiful synth-pop bow. “Mean Something” gives meaning (no pun intended) to the entire work. As we mentally balance in the space between past and future, we find ourselves in the sweet spot—the present. When we let ourselves just sit in a moment, we can feel the excitement of new beginnings. Sawyer creates the perfect musical space for this anticipation with “Mean Something” through the narrative of a budding romance and a bustling, building musicality.
“What do I do with this?
A little bit less than more than friends?”
Less Than More Than catches us somewhere in the middle. And if we’re honest, it’s fun.
Listening to the EP from start to finish is like taking a restful nap on the world’s best mattress. That sounds so odd but bear with me here!
The percussion is firm.
The vocals are soft.
You go to sleep with the whole world on your mind and wake up with new clarity. Things might still be a little fuzzy when you abruptly come to, but if you ask Sawyer, that’s okay.