It’s always a good feeling to see a name reach the top of our reviews pile of someone that we’ve reviewed and enjoyed before. It gives us a buzz, makes us feel heard, but more importantly, reminds us that the artists we are growing to love are still making great music. That’s how we feel today about Sano Hill’s latest single, Starting Over. Available now on Bandcamp;
Recently we reviewed Sano Hill’s debut single, The Climb, and it would seem as though we have a rather prolific writer on our hands as we’re listening now to Starting Over, released today on all major platforms.
Gorgeous and relaxing reverbs on a well recorded and well played acoustic guitar start this song which has a lovely chilled out live feel to it. A bass guitar joins the track and takes the melody lead until the vocals join the song after about 45 seconds of chilled out acoustic rock. Sano Hill’s vocals remind us (as with the last track we heard) of Mike Scott from the Waterboys. There’s a touch of Dexy’s Midnight Runners (in the instrumentation, not the voice!) and possibly a touch of David Gray.
There’s a lot happening in Starting Over, with some lovely and very subtle electric guitar riffs that fill the gaps between the vocal lines and we’re always suckers for a horn section. In Starting Over, the horns are nicely distant and sit well in the track without dominating or clashing with the vocals as horn sections can sometimes do.
There’s some lovely subtle backing harmonies in the choruses and the whole song has a really positive bounce to it. Starting Over is a song of reconciliation and hope.
We love the gentle breakdown at around 3m35s which has some really classy electric guitar riffs in it, with some great note choices and space. The ad lib feel to the vocals in the final section gives us a real taste of Sano Hill letting go and showing some passion and character in his voice. We’d love to hear much more of this style from him.
From a production perspective, a little more compression should bring the vocals more up front. A cut around 60-65 in the bass would help balance the track and a boost of the top 3 octaves, especially the top one, will add some extra brightness and shimmer to the overall sound.
Starting Over is a 5 1/2 minute track which is likely to mean it will be passed by for commercial air play. Those music directors can be so picky! However, like his previous track, The Climb, we feel that Starting Over has a great deal of potential for use in a TV sync and this is something we would urge Sano Hill to investigate. The song has a familiar feel to it, and a relatable subject matter.
The second single from Sano Hill’s forthcoming debut album, Starting Over is an indie/soft rock/singer songwriter track that is clearly written and performed from the heart. Sano Hill has a great career ahead of him and we’re excited to watch his progress.