26 Mar 2023

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Sabreen Islam - Single Review: Still Love You

26 Jan 2023 // A review by Jack Grabham

Here's the thing. I am a rock music fan, principally the 70's and 80's stuff. I am also aware that music is subjective, and one person's meal is another person's poison (like how I steered clear of the word meat? I'm SO hipster, I might grow a beard). And so I can honestly say I absolutely flipped for this single.

Young Auckland singer-songwriter Sabreen Islam has delivered a whimsical little poke at herself with Still Love You. It's about being stuck on someone who's moved on, which almost makes one groan the term "teen angst cliche" - until you realise she's not being serious. The true, more under-lying message comes when one realises that there's a - in Sabreen's own words - feeling of standing on a precipice of childhood and adulthood, and not feeling like you fully fit into either.

I heard Cyndi Lauper in here. I heard early Taylor Swift. I heard 90's English indie popstars St. Etienne. I heard Kiwi peer Fazerdaze. Not that there's anything contrived or ripped-off. This comes across as fresh, enthusiastic, humorous, and is actually really, really enjoyable. A sweet tune, great instrumentation, orchestration, and the engineering at Parachute by Sophie Bialostocki with the mix and mastering by Ariki Perana at Poynton, the instruments include a Tabla. This is a traditional Bangladeshi drum, played on the track by a friend of Sabreen's dad. As a Bangladeshi Muslim, Sabreen is very excited and proud to be representing her culture by adding traditional instruments to her songs. As an avid culture vulture for anything new, from anywhere, I am thumbs-up at this attitude.

Sabreen has a wonderful, girlish vocal delivery. I don't mean that to sound in any way derogatory to her gender or performance, or the female gender in general. It's youthful and innocent, yet playful and cheeky. VERY good timbre, and strong performance.

If you are a fan of the abovementioned artists, and a fan of indie pop in general, you'll love this. I hope Sabreen gets a hit from it, because it's good enough. As a representative single from her up-coming March debut EP release Room Service, she's done herself justice. Six out of five!

Hollywood's Dream Teens!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Sabreen Islam

Sabreen Islam is an upcoming singer-songwriter hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, weaving her signature style with inspirations from the likes of Hozier, Conan Gray and dodie. Her last single Glow was selected as a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition 2020, of which semi-finalists comprised just 9% of over 26,000 entries. She also played Auckland’s famous Others Way Festival in 2018 and has performed and worked alongside the likes of Jamie McDell. Following a trilogy of stellar indie-folk releases, Glow received numerous positive reviews and radio play upon its release, with listeners calling it ‘vibrant’, ‘dreamy’ and ‘fresh’.

A writer since childhood, Sabreen has been crafting tales through poetry, song and literature. In 2019, she self-published her collection of poetry Spring Clean through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing at the age of sixteen. Upon release, it rocketed to #1 in Children’s Poetry and #4 in Oceanian Poetry simultaneously.

At present, Sabreen is studying at the University of Auckland while writing and producing her own music. With more exciting projects on the horizon, the future is looking bright for Sabreen and her dreams that she is transforming into reality.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Sabreen Islam


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