The new single by Maine singer-songwriter Dustin Saucier is an aching testament to the swings and misses of digital connection.
The titular figure of Dustin Saucier’s “Laura” is, if anything, distant. The song itself acts not as a portrait of the object of the narrator’s focus but more as a reflection on the distance, the loneliness that is part of rejection and silence. Saucier crafts the song in delightfully sweet melodies overlaying a melancholy pop chordal structure to hone in on the somewhat hopeful, somewhat sad nature of this experience.
The verses tell a story in fragments- a bevy of liked posts with no reply, ghosted texts- tropes of the unfulfilled dating experience of the modern era, recanted in the wistful lightness of Saucier’s vocals. There is sadness in this story, sure, but also understanding and acceptance of the distance that reflects maturity in spite of the frustrating nature of the situation. Saucier even injects grains of hope here with lines such as, “If I gave up every time I was let down then I wouldn’t have much left,” encouraging the listener, himself, or both, to move on.
One of the strongest points in “Laura” is the melodies employed in the vocals and guitar work. It is an intensely hummable song, and the sonics Saucier uses call to mind the tender pop of 90s and 2000s alt rock acts such as Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips. Mellotron and electric piano pluck through the verses and the whirling guitar solo fits into its pocket ever so satisfyingly to express the angst below the surface of “Laura”‘s narration. It is very much a sad song that is trying to keep its head up, and that truth is the lynch pin in its success.
“Laura” is out now, along with its accompanying album Anniversary, linked below. Take some time to check them out, you may find yourself humming along for some time after.
Review by Bobby Guard