If I were to try and find one word that describes SARN’s voice outside of small, it would be… tired, apathetic, annoyed, numb, maybe TOO numb to truly be frightened or anxious, if that is what you also get out of his voice. Whatever be the word, listening to SARN’s albums will confirm his right to have that in his voice. After all, we are now living in a time where white people are exposing themselves for the terrorists they are. A good example being the current coronavirus situation.
America, largely of “proudly Aryan” descent, is currently not only making fun of anyone of Asian descent (assuming every last one of them is Chinese), but violently harass all ages in the name of our vengeful and hateful leader. This means that artists like SARN, who is actually of Thai descent, also gets locked in the crossfire. REAL SHIT is SARN in the middle of the madness handling national dissonance, racism and death anxiety with a sense of humor that is almost worrisome. So, it is best to say that the resignation or anxiety pouring through his voice will prove to be a cruel setup for his listeners.
The first single “Fated” greets us with fluorescent keys, but underneath it, SARN sneers, “real shit, this ain’t just a mattress, it’s a makeshift castle / Give me a couple of days, I’ll guarantee it’ll be my casket”. Following is “Faded”, a story following SARN bouncing from drinking Henny with Molly to meeting a girl to dealing with a half-dead vagrant and it is almost like a concept album waiting to happen. Isolate it, and it is a song focused on the need to escape a vague, harsh and unforgiving reality. An example of this reality is a sparse “Baited”, which finds him beginning the story in the middle of a drugstore shooting.
With talks of being in the middle of the race war and trying to maintain the will to live in such time (to which SARN takes time to laugh off the empty “thoughts and prayers” through his teeth with the no-wave gospel “TYTYTY”), it is only a matter of time before he imagines what it must be like in the afterlife. “Often I think about death and dying, whether by drugs, by cops, smashing, myself, whatever”, he sings on “LOVE SHIT”, a song that ends in a sense of both resignation and a moment of dissociation surrounding what his funeral might look like and how his death might be orchestrated. As serious as the thought may be, count on Sam to have a sense of humor in the process because over a smooth piano cascade within “THE CELL RECEPTION IN HEAVEN IS A JOKE”, he casually and softly delivers lines such as “riding as I’m coming back from hell / Heat wasn’t bad, but the smell? LOL”.
Deathbomb Arc’s description of SARN highlights that “discomfort and awkwardness are just some of the emotions rarely highlighted in music that SARN thrives on”, but considering the reality that we are surrounded by, discomfort seems like the kind of thing that just walks up and whispers its way into SARN’s disturbed reality. Rather than make it easy for you and hand you a pop album to dance your discomfort away, SARN now plots YOU in the middle of the action, so you can listen to him laugh at his pain and the pain of many others in his place for a half hour.
Favorite tracks: “FADED”, “LOVE SHIT”, “TYTYTY”, “TALKIN2COPS”
Rating: Strongly Recommended
You can purchase SARN’s REAL SHIT here.
mynameisblueskye (all lowercase) is a blogger, musicmaker, poet, aspie, and an All-American original. When I tell you that you won’t find Nother one like me, I would really suggest that you take my word for it.