Recommended Tracks: “Strange Weather”, “Til the Day I Die”, “Hallelujah Anyway”
Artists You May Like: James Bay, Vance Joy, Ron Pope
Strange weather we’re having, isn’t it? This is a phrase that has been around the block and back. It is a solid question or metaphor or ice breaker, which is why we tend to hear it at some point in our lives. In a literal sense, yes, the weather has been doing crazy things over the years. Floods, wildfires, record-setting heat waves… In a figural sense, also yes, the “weather” has been quite odd – the weather being the world around us, our mood, people in our circle… And then when on a first date or stuck talking to a stranger at a party, this question comes in handy as a way to connect and keep things moving. We are all affected by the weather, and Luke Sital-Singh has noticed. On his latest EP, Strange Weather, the singer-songwriter-producer gets into the weather in his area, so to speak, giving us questions and commentary on what it all means.
The EP begins with the title track, its lightness making for a comfortable introduction to the project. Over the intricate yet uplifting sounds of the acoustic guitar, Luke describes an abandoned town that no longer seems to serve a purpose. He sings, “Overcrowded ghost town / The sun peaks through the dark clouds / All my favorite spots have closed down / And nowhere to go now,” likely describing the impact of the pandemic. He asks if this “strange weather” will go “on and on forever,” but never gives any indication that the town will not recover. The song feels as if it is working towards something bigger, its steady instrumentals and serene vocals combining to create a sense of optimism.
Taking us inwards, Luke then gives us songs that are a little more personal, touching on his mental health and those who matter most to him. On “My Mind,” a sense of urgency is created through the heavier downbeats from the guitar, but Luke’s relaxed and open vocals keep the song grounded. We understand how stormy his mind can get sometimes through lines like, “This is not an easy ride / I’m strapped in and I’m terrified / Show me all the exit signs / ‘Cause I may need a quick escape,” these out-of-control thoughts taking over. Still, he does not let the panic influence his vocals, and the track serves as a safe space. A safe space is also made on the tender ballad “Til the Day I Die,” which Luke describes as a “mini-novel.” Indeed, The Notebook came to mind while listening, the romantic lines about growing old with someone channeling the book’s energy.
As we get to the end of the EP, we are treated to instances of strength and solitude. We have “Hallelujah Anyway,” the piano-based ballad that plays out like a private moment between the listener and Luke. He gets real when he sings, “Hallelujah anyway / The pain is real and I’m not okay / But can I sing hallelujah anyway?” wanting to make a breakthrough. As we process this tender experience, we are brought to the closing track, “Fake Plastic Trees.” It might seem surprising to close the EP with this Radiohead cover, but Luke has a special connection to the song. The lyrics work perfectly with the other themes and stories we have heard on the EP, its observations on life and the way they fit into the bigger picture helping the track fit in just fine.
All in all, Strange Weather is meant to bring comfort and encouragement to those who spin its tracks. About the EP, Luke has expressed, “We’re all going through shit, and it’s normal… All of my songs end with a question mark. We have to deal with those questions together, but maybe my music can help you deal with those questions.” Luke presents these questions throughout the EP and accompanies them with music that can wake something up inside. Even though he may not have all the answers, he has a commanding presence from song to song, convincing the listener to figure out a solution in time – no need to rush. For anyone needing a friend or some support, Strange Weather holds up, and we can all weather the storm together.
You can listen to Strange Weather on platforms like Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Spotify.