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Sabreen Islam - EP Review: Room Service

09 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland

Although Sabreen Islam is young, and is currently studying at the University of Auckland, she has been involved in the arts for some time, both in music and poetry and performed at The Others Way Festival as far back as 2018. To date she has released a few singles, the most recent of which can be found here on her debut EP. Sabreen’s voice is gentle and soothing, and here she is very much performing in a pop format but she has a style which I can see also relating very well to stripped down arrangements with an acoustic guitar and taking the songs just a little slower.

Sabreen's vocal style is compelling, youthful but with a beguiling and almost wistful nature which makes the listener want to get involve that little bit more. Her vocals are always at the fore of the arrangements, with the words also being very important to the overall effect, and while they appear delicate there is also the feeling of real power and strength behind it all.

The songs are quite similar in their approach, and I am sure that is down more to the production than anything else and she is someone I can imagine being quite different when playing live. I would have liked a much lighter touch, to let her fragility and soul really to shine through as that is somewhat masked. The title cut is one which has everything else in the background, but is somewhat spoiled by percussion/beats which reduce the overall effect. I can hear traditional percussion, but it is being performed in a manner I am not used to, and I would have loved to have heard a stronger mix of Western pop with traditional Bangladeshi sounds as when cultures truly come together it can often produce something very special indeed. I note Sabreen has performed with Jamie McDell in the past and in terms of vocal styles I can see that being a very good match indeed, with Fields showing what can happen when an acoustic guitar is placed front and centre (albeit with lots of multi-track harmonies).

Currently Sabreen is performing music which is influenced by dream pop to a large extent, yet also being brought more into mainstream pop due to the her vocals, and it will be interesting to see how she progresses going forward as I am sure we are going to hear a lot more from her in the future.

Rating: ( 4 / 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

Releases

Room Service
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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