Saint Joan – Sawyer Sessions (Review)

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    Saint Joan – Sawyer Sessions (Review)
    Published: April 24, 2023

    Charleston-based singer-songwriter Saint Joan, aka Fontaine Weyman, released a new EP, Sawyer Sessions, last week. The 5-song project is composed of cover tracks that, through Saint Joan’s deeply emotive vocal stylings and distinctly tender perspective, feel invigoratingly fresh.

    Sawyer Sessions begins with “I’m On Fire,” a Springsteen classic that has lent itself to many covers since its release in 1984. Saint Joan reimagines the track as a simple piano ballad, and her raw vocals and the track’s instrumental simplicity do justice to the romanticism of the song. 

    “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand,” Saint Joan’s take on the song by Primitive Radio Gods, builds around an acoustic guitar. This deeply stirring rendition showcases the smoky depth of her vocal prowess. 

    Saint Joan also takes on “No Need To Argue” by The Cranberries. It’s a stripped-back track that centers around ethereal vocal harmonies. Her voice soars with an almost mystical cadence. 

    I was excited to see “Million Dollar Bill” on the track list, as the original song by Dawes is one of my favorite sad songs. Saint Joan approaches it simply, letting her voice echo in a soundscape that feels expansive, the lyrics reverberating with extra poignancy. 

    Sawyer Sessions closes with “Open Invitation,” a track on which Saint Joan collaborated with artist Lynwood. The deeper vocals create compelling contrast against Saint Joan’s own surging voice and the dreamy swirl of a synthesizer, calling to mind Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s original, but with added warmth.

    Aaron Utterback produced “Million Dollar Bill” and “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand,” and the remaining three tracks were produced at Saint Joan’s home studio.

    The artist plans to work with Matt Zutell and his Human Resources bandmates on another full-length album later this spring (they previously collaborated on Saint Joan’s 2020 album Ashes). 

    Check out Sawyer Sessions below and keep your eyes peeled for new work from Saint Joan. 

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