Morgan Saint may just be the most sonically and alethically captivating rising star of recent memory. With a look that screams left-of-center fashion editorial and a leftfield sound that bridges shimmering synth pop and understated notes of electronica, the New York City native entered the music scene to much acclaim with her 2017 EP, 17 HERO. The succinct yet impactful five-track offering introduced the world to an artist who immediately felt poised for critical and commercial success, but more than anything, it introduced the world to the exemplary voice and songwriting grace that is Morgan Saint.
17 HERO is a remarkable debut for many reasons. Each track from its lead single “YOU” to its finishing track “New Regime” illustrate the unfathomable depth that is Saint; it is the same promise that has gone on to earn her left-of-center approach to pop comparisons to the likes of fellow pop purveyors Lorde and Banks. For existing as a pop purveyor is where Saint truly excels. She sounds most at home and uninhibited when crafting impeccable sonic gems that contain all the infectious nature we have to expect of pop over the years, whilst still finding a way to speak to intimately-held truths revolving around fleeting love, heartbreak, and the what-ifs of life.
Saint is steadily making a career out of this impressive balancing act between iridescent pop and poignant songwriting. And, thankfully for us and anyone with a pair of working ears, 17 HERO has not marked the only offering from the distinctive pop artist. 2018 saw both the release of “Thru Your Phone,” an ethereal slow-burning Cardi B cover, and Saint’s sophomore EP, ALIEN. While Saint turning Cardi B’s explosive declaration to an unfaithful ex into a heavenly ballad would have kept us going through the year, ALIEN builds on the resounding promise originally demonstrated in 17 HERO.
ALIEN is best enjoyed as an extension of 17 HERO, as the pair of EPs were originally meant to serve as Saint’s debut album. The same air of delicately expressed self-empowerment achieved through reflection that made 17 HERO such an acclaimed debut courses through all of ALIEN's eight tracks. Yet, the highs and lows expressed feel somewhat grander in tracks like “Until the Day I Die” and “Momma, Set Me Free,” which overflow with emotion.
It is a sophomore effort that pulls at all the right heartstrings, while never giving up on the innate musicality that makes Saint such a captivating artist to watch evolve. So, what is next for Saint in 2019? Your guess is as good as ours, but here is hoping for plenty of new music and shows. [Ones To Watch]