“Sage” by Cam Dasher is this futuristic, mind-bending ballad. The lyrics are heartbreaking, but the production is mechanical, busy, often psychedelic, and overall completely fascinating. There’s so much to be said about the genius of this piece that it’s difficult to choose what is most noteworthy– The production? The chord choices? The vocal prowess? The lyricism? The instrumentation? Whether you’re a musician or just a music lover, you’ll hear “Sage” and wonder where it was all your life.
First, let’s delve into the production and instrumentation of this piece. The first 45 seconds are pretty bare-bones. A distant keyboard plunks out some arpeggios as a heavily chorused, pitched, and affected vocal line spreads out over the mix. It actually sounds a lot like a darker version of Bon Iver’s vocal editing. About two-thirds of the way through, the mood completely changes as some quick-fire, bright synths arpeggiate over the newly snappy, programmed drums. The perceived speed of the song ramps up. The vocalist climbs into a dramatic belt accompanied by choir-like harmonies. This continues for a while until, in the last twenty seconds of the song, everything cuts out but these baroque-sounding sting hits. The strings execute this suddenly out-of-character counterpoint and converge on a single, long, deep note to finish off the track. Whoever produced and wrote this piece pulled out all the stops. They provided the listener with everything they could’ve ever wanted and more.
Lyrically, this song is really poignant. With phrases like, “I think about your selfishness every single day,” or “After everything you put me through, I never can forget your name,” it comes across as very literal but still cathartic and relatable. Lyrics that tap into that personal, vulnerable part of you will always feel poetic even if they’re straightforward.
If you’re interested in hearing something truly fresh and inspiring, definitely listen to “Sage.” Cam Dasher is an insanely talented singer, writer, and producer.
Written by Alyce Lindberg