Florida-based Sarah and the Swinging Richards is a band with a unique twist and an innovative approach to their music. What makes their sound quite special is the fact that it creates a clever dualism between the feel of the “golden age” and the fresh impact of the “new school.” When listening to the songs that are featured on the band’s new album, Rollercoaster
, you might immediately think of great names of the past. Some comparisons include Fleetwood Mac
, Dire Straits
or The Eagles
, although there is so much more to Sarah and the Swinging Richards. Their sound is laced with elements of funk and jazz alike, exploring influences as diverse as James Brown
, as well as Gabriella Cilmi, only to mention but a few.
Sarah and the Swinging Richards might be an amusing band name with a funny twist, but these cats sure do take their music seriously. The record unfolds over the span of eight studio recordings. The opening song is titled “Feels Good,” and it is an immediate introduction to Sarah Reagan’s enticing vocal style. Her sound is dynamic and unapologetic, going for a diverse range. She can seamlessly whisper her verses when some intimacy is needed, but she has no problem whatsoever when it comes to belting out vocal hooks with energy. The album features many highlights, including the title track itself. “Rollercoaster” is an accomplished song, revealing the band’s chemistry and each musician’s incredible master on their respective instrument. “Betting Girl” has got to be my favorite track, particularly because of Sarah’s personal lyrics and earnest vocal style. These eight cuts will take you on a musical journey- or perhaps, it would be even better to say that they will take you on a rollercoaster ride, with so many twists and turns. Each song has something special to offer, and there is ample room for the band to explore different musical languages here. From '90s alternative rock to R&B, hints of jazz, and even soul and popthe possibilities are truly endless (grade: 9/10). Sarah fronts the band with passion and charisma, and everyone is doing their part to make the magic happen.