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St South, AKA Olivia Gavranich, is a musician from Perth who is about to make huge chill-waves across the country. I’ve probably chosen the most appropriate time to be writing this review. I typed “St South” into Spotify on my phone, connected it to my car speakers and drove home from work in the middle of the storm, feeling pretty miserable following an argument with my boyfriend. Sometimes it takes me a while to fully connect with music but as soon as I started listening, I just got it.
Fremantle’s own St South delivers both empowering and comforting music through her thoughtful lyrical narrative and complexity. Powerfully empathic stuff.
It’s the kind of melancholic music that you can both sulk to and feel empowered by and it’s so multi- faceted that you notice something new after every listen. The layers of each song, particularly Slacks and her brand new track Cadence, are warm and welcoming with her soft vocals, unobtrusive yet so alluring, you strain to follow her lyrical narrative.
Although Slacks in particular is a seemingly somewhat typical girl-meets-guy-who-breaks-her-heart story, the way in which St South carries herself is strong – with lines such as “I’m not yours, I’m mine” speaking out to girls everywhere feeling like shit because of a boy. The lyrics of all her tracks are poetic, it takes a while to truly figure out whether she’s sad or whether she’s strong or whether she’s coping or whether she’s breaking down…and that is kind of the whole point. When you’re in that turbulent state of a new relationship or things are rocky with your partner, it’s a lot of different emotions at once – which is why, it’s all well and good just expressing one of these emotions and being a great break-up song or a great love song but it is so much harder to fit all of those emotions into one, 3 minute long track. St South does this with ease, letting her stream of consciousness flow out effortlessly into her music.
St South’s latest track, Cadence, follows her recognizable soft, rhythmic style but Ella Wisniewski on sax just makes the track so much smoother, taking easy listening to the next level. I’m not sure if I can really do this song justice with this review as it’s hard to pinpoint any one thing that this track is about or any one emotion that it’s trying to portray. St South’s lyrical complexity strikes again, producing a track that’ll ignite a plethora of feelings within you.
It is this complexity and uncertainty which makes St South’s music so addictive and distinctive. Her soulful music is full of power-struggles, insecurities and empowerment, mirroring that rollercoaster of emotion we’ve all involuntarily chosen to ride. I love everything about this song, right down to the title Cadence which by definition can either refer to the inflection of one’s voice or “a sequence of notes or chords comprising the close of a musical phrase”. Clever, right?
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