From the mind of Bloomington-based multi-instrumentalist, Saeyers, “Cruise” is a hazy, dream pop single with echoes of classic rock at its core.
Happy Monday, LemonWire readers. This week, we’re once again diving into the local music from the Hoosier state. Even though the Indy music scene is wide and diverse, there’s plenty of good music to be found in its surrounding cities. For bands and artists on the rise, Indianapolis can be seen as a sort of stepping stone to larger audiences and shows. We’ll be looking at one of those artists who is already making a name for himself in Bloomington, Indiana.
Our song of the day today comes from Saeyers’ self-titled EP, which released in October. But before we get into “Cruise”, here’s some more information on Saeyers.
Saeyers is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Marshall Lewis from Bloomington, Indiana. Before becoming known by the alias Saeyers, Lewis began writing songs as a senior in high school in 2013. At the age of eighteen, Lewis worked alongside former music blogger turned engineer/producer, Kevin Flick (Puddlegum), who now works as his producer and manager. In the years following his start, Lewis released two subsequent EPs, both of which finding favor among a number of blogs and local presses.
Since then, Lewis’ alias Saeyers has taken over, with a number of singles being released over the course of 2019, leading up to the self-titled debut EP.
In the recently released Saeyers EP, Lewis played every instrument and wrote every part. Additionally, the EP holds a special significance to him emotionally.
“These last couple years have seen a lot of difficulty, but also many little victories,” says Lewis. “I spent a lot of time mulling things over in my head, and had to learn a lot of hard lessons. This EP is my expression of enjoying the little things and coming to terms with it all, knowing that life keeps going.”
“Cruise” was the leading single released for Saeyers’ debut EP. After just two weeks, the track was selected by Spotify’s editorial staff for the “Fresh Finds” playlist. Along with his second single, “On Fire”, the two drew 75,000 streams over nine weeks, and were added to over 1,000 playlists.
While “Cruise” sits comfortably within the dream pop and electronic genres, it’s a single that evokes both classic rock and the era of the ’80s. The addition of rock tropes goes beyond riffs sprinkled throughout the track, and to the very structure of “Cruise”. Even though there are plenty of electronic and synth sounds pulsing in the background, they come across more as flourishes.
Additionally, Marshall Lewis’ voice is heavy with reverb, which has the effect of giving “Cruise” an especially dreamy quality. The result of every element in “Cruise”, is a song that is not quite pop, not quite rock, and not quite electronic, but something in between that is a relaxing joy to listen to.
The lyrics to “Cruise” are also worth mentioning. While there aren’t many of them, they manage to hit upon the same feeling being pushed out through the synths and guitars.
“We’re at the end of the night
And we’ve got nothing to lose
The open road is a sight
When you’ve got nothing to prove”
Overall, “Cruise” has everything you could want in a dream pop, lo-fi rock track. There’s a lot to like in “Cruise”. Despite all the layering guitars and electronic sounds, at its core, it succeeds by way of its simplicity, and ability to manufacture a unique kind of ambient energy.
After listening to it, it’s amazing to remember that all the instruments were written and recorded by Lewis himself. If “Cruise” is representative of the Saeyers EP at all, then there’s a lot more we can look forward to from Saeyers. Hopefully Indianapolis will see a visit from him soon.
Finally, for more coverage on the Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local Indianapolis artists from the community.