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Zack Brooks & Bobby Bier – “sadboi” EP Review

Zack Brooks and Bobby Bier, who have been creating music together for the past eight years, are turning heads with the release of their newest EP “sadboi.” Brooks, the San Diego native who currently resides in Berkeley, California, has been involved with music for the past sixteen years and has been named an official California Arts Scholar at CalArts through their CSSSA program. Bier, an established producer through his ‘Bier Music,’ enterprise has worked with artists of genres ranging from R&B to Reggaeton. The two have come together in this first collaborative four-track release in order to portray the different stages and struggles of a long-term relationship.

With a calming intro of keyboard sounds and bass drum undertones, ‘The Rise’ immediately  transports you into the beginning stages of a relationship – the butterflies and unlimited possibilities of being with someone you care about. The lyrics, “The flame next to your name would never indicate / Before long I’d be tellin’ my mom you’d be along over the next break,” encourages you to think about the excitement of being with someone for the first time and wanting them to be a part of your life.

Switching tones from upbeat and calming, ‘The Ride’ takes on a much more somber tone and the lyrics, “We’ve become each other’s crush / The motions go through us / When we refuse to learn,” portray the emotional connection that people form to one another. This mood is delved deeper into as Brooks sings, “I need you I need you I need you right now / To speak with some meaning and not just your mouth,” the lyrics depict the need to have someone be on the same emotional level as you, but somehow losing the connection that was once so strong.

Quickly transferring from melodramatic to an optimistic vibe mixed with summer guitar moods, ‘The Fall’ continues to drag you on an emotional roller coaster. As Brooks sings about the relationship coming to an end, “This could be the real thing / The real time / The real split / No bluff,” the cheerful tone juxtaposes the bitter lyrics and makes you question when the relationship began to fall apart.

Closing off the EP with ‘The Fallout,’ the track starts out with a dramatic piano intro and as Brooks reminisces on the relationship with lyrics like, “Really I really I wanna know / If it has taken a toll on yours like it has mine.” The heartache that comes along with a failed relationship is rendered in a dismal light and you can’t help but feel as though you were apart of this painful journey.

The whole ‘sadboi’ EP gives you a different perspective of life before, during, and after a relationship. With the alternating of tones and lyrics, you feel like you have delved into someone’s personal diary and been take through an emotional minefield. Brooks and Bier have created a collaboration that needs to be heard and will hopefully continue to produce more music together in the near future. Sadboi can be found on Soundcloud NOW. 

Review by Emily Brower

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