Sunday Saari is a Carnegie Mellon student who takes a theatrical approach to pop music.
After dropping a series of singles over the past few years, Saari recently released an EP called Signal, which contains four sweeping ballads of love and loss. String and pedal steel flourishes elevate the standard guitar and piano combination to panoramic heights, and the whole thing is captured in hi-def clarity. The EP’s title track, a songwriting collaboration with the artist’s father, finds Saari pulling an “Eleanor Rigby,” enlisting a crisply bowing quartet–backed by nothing but empty space–in service of a soaring testament to a person lost to the world. Saari’s voice, simultaneously sensitive and forceful, conveys depths of pent-up grief, but, despite its subject matter, the song sounds more triumphant than it does depressing. Saari sings, “With the heart of a lion, I will never leave your side/The strength of your mother/I cannot just rest your body there,” the words, an epitaph in musical form, ascending upward toward the sky.