Music

‘Recovery’ by SAIYON is an unforgettable trip through alternative RnB

Melbourne’s SAIYON has just released Recovery, a collection of tracks that announces her as a force to be reckoned with in future soul and RnB.

Recovery, a body of work that was three years in the making, is the glittering debut EP from Melbourne artist, SAIYON. Gathering together a host of influences ranging from classic RnB artists like Whitney Houston, to the house-tinged future soul of artists like KAYTRANADA, Recovery is a kaleidoscopic journey through multiple colours of electronica.

At the centre of it all is SAIYON herself. Despite the colourful flourishes of production (her team featured co-writer and producer, Grant Windsor, and Grammy Award-winning mixer, Brian Bender), her voice is like a beacon: no matter what character it takes on, it’s always holding your attention at the front of the mix.

SAIYON

Starting with lead single Getting High, the presence of SAIYON is apparent. She’s not afraid of wearing the aforementioned influences on her sleeve — her phrasing is classic RnB — but the icy ambience that surrounds her voice brings to mind modern pop masterminds like The Weeknd.

In Memory, SAIYON takes us to the club. An uptempo synthy house banger, which drops to half time, before ramping up again in the euphoric choruses. The title track introduces a more earthbound palette of tonal colours, but juxtaposes the clarity of vocals and piano chords with otherworldly reverb tails and autotune runs, all falling effortlessly between SAIYON’s perfectly articulated phrases.

In Kerosene, things get even more adventurous. The tones are deliberately hyped with aggressive drum machine stabs, haunting synths harmonies, and urgent vocal rhythms. Things ramp up further and touch on EDM territory before slamming into a heavy trap beat, punctuated by a hyperactive synth arpeggiator. Again, despite this abrupt scroll through multiple genres, the vocals of SAIYON, her power and finesse, remain the focus of attention.

As if signalling a recovery from the onslaught of Kerosene, Ultrasound revels in a naturalistic set of timbres, channelling neo-soul icons like Erykah Badu and D’Angelo. The EP is bookended by two versions of the lead single, Getting High: the Hagan remix of the track is a glorious finale, bringing us back to the dancefloor with a quasi-dancehall groove, at a more energetic tempo.

Recovery forms the ultimate introduction SAIYON. An explosive array of influences are revealed in this colourful EP, and it should make listeners very intrigued as to what could follow from this fascinating artist.