Beginning a UK/EU tour, Brixton born and raised Santino Le Saint is establishing himself in the music scene, clearly and boldly. Described as “dark romantic R&B infused with rock guitars”, Santino Le Saint’s latest project reflects this identification. Aiming to give voice to the more emotional aspects of relationships, looking at the toxic thoughts that can plague those involved.
Paranoia is a brilliant single that reflects Santino’s tone exceptionally well. The instrumentation is simple but matches the rhythm and overall vibe of the song, letting Le Saint’s vocalisation with the use of effects in some places, to take over and take its rightful place as the heart of the song. Le Saint’s lyrics are an honest reflection of the ‘paranoia’ that can trouble a relationship, especially when motives are not entirely clear. You can hear the suspicion and confusion in the narrator’s voice at their partner’s actions, resulting in this onset of an inescapable paranoid mindset that spirals as more information is revealed and the situation being discussed develops. A key lyric is, “Your love makes me insane”, showcasing the doubt the speaker has in their own ideas by the end of the track, not knowing who is at blame but being very aware that this is just one situation of many that perpetuates these feelings. It is a very good lyrical exploration of the topic, executed well.
Euphoria has a slower start compared to Paranoia, presenting a softer endeavour for the narrator reminiscing about the euphoria they felt with their partner. In the lyrics of the second verse, the narrator admits a list of all the things they know about their partner, creating a very real scenario in the listener’s head. It reminds the listener of how well we come to know those close to us, to their favourite places to the things that bring a smile to their face, but with the more intimate side of a physical relationship revealed and the imprint it leaves in the memories of those who experienced it first-hand. There is a deep intimacy in the lyrics with a touch of innocence in the narrator’s desire to “look back in euphoria”. My favourite line follows, “My memories will always be alive, that’s their sacrifice.” It is a perfectly crafted reflection of the key messages of the song, looking back at the good moments and the connection, but knowing the bitter reality of how unavoidable these memories can be once the relationship is over, as they continue to run around our minds, reminding us of moments that sometimes it would be easier to forget if we wish to move forward without the person we used to love.
Santino Le Saint’s debut album Beautiful Disaster features these two singles as bonus tracks. The album reflects his tone and style throughout, differing in pace on occasion but maintaining the description offered above. I personally think their album would work superbly as tracks for movie soundtracks. They are incredibly atmospheric with a distinct voice that is unafraid to explore a different way of telling narratives, utilising a darker romantic feel that carries through and projects Santino’s voice well.