A nugget of joyful chamber-pop on the surface, “My Saccharine”’s uplifting strings, glacé falsetto and sweeping chorus, sugar-coat a bittersweet song of unrequited love. As Powell says of the track:
“I had the sole word ‘saccharine’ written in my lyrics notebook, and that immediately sparked off thoughts of my last relationship, and the happiness it brought me, but how undermining it is to keep thinking about it. Or possibly it’s about being addicted to sherbet lemons. You decide.”
“My Saccharine” is simultaneously both the first, and last, song written for the upcoming The Sad Song Co. album. With its heartfelt lyrics apparating from the ether while he was adding the finishing touches to his new album, Powell decided they were just too perfect to leave behind. Coupling the lyrics with a playful melody that has followed him ever since he began to learn music in his childhood years, the track came together in just under a day. Spun from a lifetime of experiences, “My Saccharine” naturally slipped into his latest collection of songs as a natural centrepiece and one of its finest; the icing on the cake.
Infusing the tenderness of REM at their most melancholy and the grandiosity of Elbow’s anthemic best, “My Saccharine” offers a different prospect to the frenetic folktronica of previous single: “Feeding”. Two tracks poles apart but equally as stimulating, they hint at an artist preparing to break away in new and exciting directions with his new body of work.
Recently announcing his departure as long-standing drummer of Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls, Powell is now planning to concentrate on his blossoming solo career, beginning with a new album as The Sad Song Co. in 2021: ‘Saudade’.
Created during the pandemic, ‘Saudade’ is not purely a lockdown record but one that resonates with freedom and personal rediscovery to which we can all relate. Comprising 11 songs, it’s a record that will touch upon love and loss, politics and the pandemic, and finding your way through a world upside down.
With complete focus now on The Sad Song Co, for the first time in almost 15 years, Powelll is in his “creatively wired” zone. Deftly mapping moods and moments into songs of experimental and accessible nature, in ‘Saudade’ he musters his finest collection of songs to date. Written, recorded, played and mixed entirely by Powell, the record comes out on 22nd January 2021.