Review by Alif Ibrahim
SAVIOUR is our first glance into the reimagining of Madness and the Film, the long distance collaboration between Caroline Gorman ’18 and David Breeze. Back in April, Caroline told us that they were “in the process of taking down all of [their] old stuff”, a move she likened to Lizzie Grant’s transformation to Lana Del Rey. They’ve been successful at this: my multiple attempts to look for their previous EP proved fruitless. Despite this reinvention, SAVIOUR stays true to the core identity of the band, giving us a glimpse into their shared universe while also serving as a re-introduction to the band’s musical essence.
Caroline’s verse calls for individuality and independence. “I’ll fight for my individuality” and “Until then I wear sunglasses in the moonlight” show aspirations of the young, while David displays a slightly older perspective, singing, “I’m patient” and “I’m waiting.” This contrast highlights the fifteen-year gap between the two members, who met back in 2012.
Like any good alternative pop song, the repetition of the chorus sticks with you long after the song ends. I’ve caught myself singing it in my head over the past week. The way their vocal inflections complement each other is the fundamental element of Madness and the Film’s sound and is arguably the duo’s greatest strength.
But this track is missing a breath of life that would bring it to the next level. The song’s success is dependent on this very vocal chemistry, but the song craves that same individuality in the other musical elements. They should be careful not to let their story and personal identities become the only thing that sets them apart from other alternative pop bands. Instead, they should look to push the boundaries of alternative pop.
But that’s a big reason why I’m excited to hear the rest of their upcoming EP, Outlaws—to see exactly what they can do. This is by no means a make-or-break record for the band, but it will certainly set up the expectations for what’s in store for Madness and the Film. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see songs with similar qualities in the rest of the four-track EP: songs that highlight their complementary vocals and alternative sound under familiar pop elements that well captures the personalities and lives of Madness and the Film.