Sands Of Time
New York, United States
Sands of Time is an unfairly short and sweet EP from Austin Marquez. This debut… does not feel like one. Back in times not yet forgotten, artists would sometimes release small 12 inch vinyls with either a long cut single and a B side on, or a small dignified collection of songs that told a specific story. Sands of Time is a modern adaptation of the latter. The EP explores emotional upheaval in every sense of the phrase in a short span of time. I wish it were longer, and I do hope we hear more from this soon-to-be pop role model.
Austin Marquez fuses modern pop ideals with more honest vocals than most. Even when he pushes it you can feel a connection to the person beneath the message, the one who has actually been through the strife that has been turned into notes and chords for us. Though the first song on the EP, ‘If You’re Listening’, is a sad one you can’t help but be taken away by the melodies carved into the walls of sound. The song is soft and meaningful, somehow it feels nostalgic; I suppose we have all been there, losing someone we cared about. Austin Marquez’s pop contributions to the space, blended with a more theatrical and dramatic sound, work to set the whole EP apart from the crowd.
Next up we have ‘Back To You’, a much more upbeat offering than the last. The vocals get some power behind them and are supported by beefy synth and drum sections. The chorus has a great hook and pulls you in for verse after verse. The songwriting style on offer is similar in tone to Olivia Roderigo’s recent sounds, with punchy - almost gritty - backing instrumentals supporting a clean crisp vocal that takes use of dramatic melodies. By dramatic melodies, I mean that Sands of Time does dip its toes into an almost cinematic sound. Mainly with vocal stylings and sections. The movements rise and fall like the score of a fantasy movie. Its super different and I for one love it. To have a completely new angle in the pop world is rare but Austin Marquez is showing us one, it is bold but it does work. I applaud Austin for it.
Finally, ‘Oh Little Lover’. Easily the most solemn song on the EP, ‘Oh Little Lover’ uses acoustic sounds and ringing chords to create an atmosphere of loss, and hope. Marquez's signature personable vocals set the song aflame with passion as it barrels into a heartfelt chorus. Never for one second upon listening to this EP would I have assumed this was a debut from its tone, craft and songwriting standard. Sands of Time has been put together by a group of people who know what’s up, and spearheaded by Austin Marquez who obviously loves the craft. The sad song does wonders in terms of setting up the EP to end. It feels as if we are being sung away, but being left with a promise for more.
I listened to the EP a few times, and each time I felt I grew closer to the songs. It is rare for such a short offering to pack as much musicality as a full-length EP or album but the feat has been conquered here. Do yourself a favour and check out this EP. It's short, honest and unforgettable.