The mindset that lives within creative people is a much different and varied one when compared to a non-creative one. There’s a constant and innate desire to create whatever form of art they indulge in, but there’s also a burning desire to continue to grow and push boundaries within that form. When it comes to music, some artists team up with others creating a side project that delves into not only a deeper, but vastly varied sound. Others forego the side project and decide to step away from others entirely, embarking on a solo journey to make music that is inherently unique to them. This is what Philadelphia born songwriter and multi-instrumentalist JW Sargent has chosen to do after spending years playing in regionally renowned bands. With a new focus and a desire to head towards the next frontier in his own musical progression, his debut EP In Retrograde is the first project written completely by himself and shows off just how talented he truly is.
In Retrograde itself is a release that is meant to describe the illusion of moving backward when, in reality, you are making progress. “Constant” opens up this ideology with subtle singing over simplistic instrumentation before the build opens up into a subdued synth driven bassline littered with various effects vocally and musically. These effects help bring a level of cohesion between the first track and the EP’s theme as it gives off a feeling of rewinding time as the song is moving forward. Following up “Constant” is “Run”, which is a beautifully composed piece of music that lies more in the realm of pop as its verses swoon and chorus croons all whilst drawing listeners in with the idea of escape the craziness of life. “Ghost” sees the styles between the previous two tracks mesh into one, offering up a fully realized alternative driven sound that JW seemed to be aiming for with his solo projects first offering while “Medicine” oozes atmosphere with its constant evolving and budding soundscape of crashing cymbals, piano composition, snare hits and vocal melodies.
From the EP In Retrograde out November 18th 2016. Shot by Jesse DeFlorio jwsargent.com
With a goal in mind of not just merely showing off his own talent, but pushing his musical boundaries forward and creating songs that wouldn’t work with his prior projects, JW Sargent has created a collection of four beautifully composed pieces of music. The culmination is everything found on In Retrograde, from its atmosphere to its relatable lyrical content and overarching theme, all of which are wholly heartfelt and present a level of realness not always found from musicians. This is a release that is just as much for the artist who created it as it is for the listener and when it’s all said and done, the four songs found here will remain with people who happen to stumble upon them for days to come.