You might recognize SAINTE’s voice before you recognize the name. Given name Tay Jardine, the singer got her start as the lead vocalist of pop rock band We Are the In Crowd; after seven years and two albums, the group parted ways and Jardine rebranded herself as SAINTE, a purely pop project that has so far seen the release of an EP in 2017. It appears that’s about to change, though. On her first song in two years, “Back 2 Me” is an ode to the fickle acquaintances the music industry inspires. Backed by jittery guitar, muted drums, and a soft bed of synths, the singer tries on a more subdued sound to superb results.
Perhaps a bit downtrodden, SAINTE opens the track with a plainly stated desire to close herself off from new friends. No stranger to the revolving door that is relationships in entertainment, the singer knows better than to invest her time in someone that won’t invest in her. Reaching the chorus, the music quietly erupts around her as she haggles with her subject: “I’ll give you my attention/if you give it right back to me.” You wouldn’t be reprimanded for suggesting she might even be pleading with this person; the repetition of the lyric almost sounds more desperate as the song chugs along. The singer’s vocals go through a processor on the bridge and outro, giving a detached feeling to her disillusionment of her social circle’s priorities. A somewhat plain track about an all-too-familiar feeling, SAINTE elevates “Back 2 Me” with her positively beautiful alto. If she plans on further exploring these lyrical and sonic avenues, she should prepare herself for the ensuing success.