Born in Chennai and raised in the USA, Sid Sriram first created a major stir with his covers on YouTube – particularly Frank Ocean’s “We All Try”, which has clocked up over one million views. Trained in Carnatic music from a young age, the talented singer has become known for his incredible vocal control and acrobatics, throwing in complex (but beautiful) riffs with utmost ease.
Sid Sriram’s “Daydream” EP – despite having a chilled-out vibe – consists of some pretty heavy stuff, both lyrically and from a production point of view. It’s clear that the production for this EP has been greatly influenced by tracks by artistes such as Frank Ocean and The Weeknd.
Following the 40-second Intro, the EP opens with “Insanity”. In keeping with the daydreaming theme, the track has a pretty surreal, floaty feel to it – the last minute of the track is nothing but a chilled beat and the lightest of melodic chords.
A mellow piano introduction opens “Disappear”, a track which initially comes across as nothing new – not that it sounds bad; the melody is good, the beat is good, and the lyrics are good. It just doesn’t feel like it’s bringing anything new to the table. However, once it gets to the bridge and Sid switches up the backing vocals to a Carnatic (South Indian Classical) style, the track draws your interest in again.
“Chaotic” is a heavily-produced track with a catchy melody and at just over 2 mins, it’s pretty short. Despite that, it is still a pretty fulfilling track, with several layers of vocals working over a seriously mellowed-out hip-hop beat.
The vocals on “Wake Up” are more reminiscent of the Sid Sriram we were first introduced to in 2011 on songs such as “2am Prayer” and “Talk To Me”. This track really showcases Sid’s vocal talents with a number of riffs and runs in both Western and Carnatic styles. For the most part, the song has a calming feel to it, so the electro/drum and bass-esque breakdown towards the end is an unexpected but pleasant surprise.
“Daydream”, is a spoken word piece over Debussy’s melodious Clair de Lune. Cleverly placed after the heavy, beat-based ending to the previous track, Sid uses the outro to describe the surreal experience of a daydream – “…a moment time when you’re isolated from everything outside of yourself. An external silence, an internal chorus of discordant sound…” Pretty profound for someone who just turned 22!
Like “Wake Up”, the bonus track “Elevate” gives more focus to Sid’s exquisite vocal than to heavy production. The track, which features rapper Aziz Francois (of hip-hop trio ‘The Kings Dead’), is a brilliant ending to the EP.
While this may seem to be a pretty experimental collection from Sid Sriram, with not as much focus on the vocals as perhaps some may have liked, the Daydream EP shows that this rising star is not afraid to step out of the box and explore new territory. 7/10
Daydream can be downloaded by clicking here. Check out the video below for a taste of all of the songs on the EP.