Daughtry, Pink, Gwen Stefani, and Carrie Underwood. Honestly, I’m not sure how those are all related but that’s the “For Fans Of” list I got on the pitch for Sydney Sherwood’s sophomore EP, ‘Headspace’.I have to be honest, I really only like two of the acts on that list (I’ll let you guess which ones) but I was still intrigued. It has been a little bit since I’ve spent some quality time with a strong female singer-songwriter so I think tonight is the night to dig into this one.
This EP starts off airy and almost ambient with Sydney’s voice soaring over the soundscape until, out of nowhere, a band with a powerful sound comes in. I was captivated and Sydney had me right in the palm of her hand. Her dark yet sensitive vocals came in shortly after the full-band and swept me off my feet. Although I didn’t quite understand the comparisons listed in the email, it all made sense instantly. Sydney’s voice has the power of Daughtry, the edge of Pink and Gwen Stefani, and then a slight hint of country like Carrie Underwood. Even though I’m only a fan of half of those comparisons, I’m a full-fledged fan of Sydney Sherwood and we are only on the first track!
I feel like the country aspect of Sydney’s sound really shines through “Let Me Down” from the vocals to the instrumentation, there’s just a little twang and swagger to this track that I feel like comes from a country influence. Even with that influence, I fail to say this is a country track. It’s very rock/pop and so full of energy. Again, and it can not be understated, Sydney’s voice is versatile and smooth. Honestly, to put it quite simply, her voice is stunning and shines through this song and what I’m sure will be the rest of this twenty-five-minute EP. Even as “Creep” brings a little more swagger to the sound and Sydney’s voice takes a darker turn, there’s something so smooth and easy about her vocals. “Creep” was an instant favorite of mine because of the swagger that can be heard throughout the track. The beat is heavy but something about this track keeps it from becoming a super weighted track.
“Born To Roll” caught me right off the bat. Again, there’s a darkness in this track that can be both heard and felt but without the heaviness that typically comes with that sense of darkness. This is a powerful and anthemic track that I could absolutely see a huge future for. I feel like it really could be spread among many audiences from country to rock and fit in perfectly which is the making of a hit. The roles of darkness and heaviness seem to switch for “Horizon’s Edge”. This is a heavy track. Beautiful and light but heavy lyrically and I love it. Although this track is slow and somber, Sydney’s voice continues to shine and be a light throughout the track. You know how I was saying that something about “Creep” kept it from becoming a super weighted track? Well, all of that weight seems to hit all at once during “Horizon’s Edge” in a painfully beautiful way.
Ending this release is “All The Aces”. This track brings back that southern swagger that I got from the first couple of tracks. Although ending on “Horizon’s Edge” would have been a super powerful statement, I really liked how Sydney brings this EP full-circle with “All The Aces”. Again, her vocals stand in the spotlight. Don’t get me wrong, the band is great throughout this album but her vocals just soar over everything as they should for a singer-songwriter-styled artist.
I’ll be honest, I was nervous to check this one out because I saw “Singer-songwriter” on the pitch but was intrigued when I saw the “For Fans Of” list. The two things together didn’t quite make sense to me but, after spending time with ‘Headspace’, it makes perfect sense and I honestly couldn’t have come up with a better comparison list. Expect big things from Sydney Sherwood.
My Favorite Track(s): “Creep”
For Fans Of: Southern Swagger; Powerful Vocals
Daydream-ability: 4 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid right next to my desk; Autumn ate her leftover dinner
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 6 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
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