For music lovers, the pandemic brought a lot of heartbreak over cancelled gigs, suffering music venues and bands losing the momentum they’d built over years of hard work. Album releases were pushed back, bands took to live streaming and although they were compromises that had to be made, very little could fill the void the live industry left in our hearts. Unsurprisingly, COVID became a scourge in multiple ways and yet, it seems that even when the chips are down, there’s always a glimmer of hope to be found.
Sad Son, a bedroom project, first saw the light as a COVID project. Eager to pass the time, singer-songwriter Will Bragunier didn’t think it would grow beyond the walls of his Charleston apartment and yet, he finds himself on the precipice of releasing a self-titled debut EP.
The six tracks found within flaunt the same type of gritty punk rock than that of bands like Forever Came Calling, Free Throw and Hot Mulligan, but then there’s also something about it that tugs at 2002 easy listening pop punk like Simple Plan and Good Charlotte. The clash of those two parts combined with Sad Son’s unique twist makes it feel fresh and modern whilst also offering a familiarity that makes it feel like the music you’ve had on repeat for years. Whether intentional or not, it’s a really nice spin on nostalgia which serves to put a smile on your face when you’re kicking back to ‘Leave’ and ‘Every Time’.
‘Smokin’ – featuring Taylor Eby from Handguns – doubles down on pace and energy and as Sad Son takes a slightly more aggressive vocal approach here, he manages to bottle an angst without ever compromising on melody. The totality of this song – yes, we’re ALL for the gang vocals and ooh oohs – nudges it out as our frontrunner for our standout song.
As a really enjoyable introduction to Sad Son, this EP serves as a window to an artist with the understanding that heartbreak is allowed to sound uplifting. This is a solid EP which leaves us excited to see where this goes next.