If her debut single is anything to go by, Sarah Cripps is set to be our next big beloved genre-bender. When the Toronto artist premiered ‘Leave Behind’ over at Atwood Magazine, they called it “full of warmth, deep musicality, and real feeling.” As a British/American publication that deeply enjoys whenever the Canadian press hangs on a limb and pushes for that Oxford comma (and great music), we tend to agree.
There is something there, sonically, that feels like it comes straight from the roots music hearth that we tend to so often cover here at FFS. Whether it be Cripps’ soothing, honey-like vocals, the wholeness of the song’s production, or the adeptness of the songwriter’s choice of instrumentation, it’s something that can be appreciated at this publication. Yet, it goes further, both sonically and especially thematically.
With a soulful bend to the track’s arrangement, Cripps delves into darker themes than one might expect on the track. Yet, in looking back at her lowest moments when she was lost in the dark and didn’t know what to garner from her own humanity, she empowers herself and provides an empathetic shoulder to lean on for listeners who may be going through similar issues finding oneself. She sure has, and she’s all the better for embracing her quirks and bringing us music that reminds us that it’s okay to be lost and that you don’t have to be perfect.
From an audible standpoint, the tune is just as brilliant. Instead of rallying for an anthemic battle cry as many commercial “folk” bands would despite being more in the range of mainstream rock and roll, Cripps arranges her music to fit a more evocative, layered theme and makes sure that it reflects a particular feeling forthrightly. It’s mysterious and brooding with a little bit of hope tossed in for good measure, and it builds up into a gentle chorus of piano, guitar, drums, and synth that dares to intrigue.
All in all, ‘Leave Behind’ shows incredible promise for the songwriter. During our eager wait for this single release to culminate into her full-length self-titled debut, we can give the full song a listen below and keep up with the latest on Cripps via her social media.