Single Review: Sugarplum Fairies – Sandy Says ft. Sid Simons

On Fiday, Sugarplum Fairies dropped an ethereal, hypnotic end-of-summer track perfect for winding down and/or staring into the abyss as the air turns chilly and the sky gets dark.

“Sandy Says” is an exciting psychedelic reimagining of a song released by the group in 1998 on their very first album, “Flake.” Though released in the ripe year of 2021, this track has a slinky, sexy retro sound, almost eerily reminiscent of the dream pop/shoegaze icons of the 1960s and 1970s; twangy guitar and slinky bass transports you directly to the days of the Velvet Underground and the Cocteau Twins and frontwoman, Silvia Ryder, sings seductively of wasting days and wasted love.

Though often compared to the likes of Nico, I hear more Lana Del Rey – Silvia has a much prettier and breathier voice, and her whisper-singing demands an intimacy and closeness between listener and the lyrics. The track features Sid Simons of Girl Skin, who describe their sound as a combination of  fragile folk and delicate art rock – and this track nailed the integration of these two artists’ sounds..Sid’s presence elevates the chorus of this song adding a deep vocal layer to the refrain, singing along “sandy says…” inundating the listener with the catchiness of this tried and true hook.

Having released 8 full-length albums between 1998 and now, Sugarplum Fairies have decided, this year, to release a compilation album by the name of “Altar Songs 1998-2021,” featuring this track and other reinterpretations of old songs and new songs alike. Their extensive discography is impressive, if not known well, and this album is a great opportunity for new listeners and fans to get a taste of their scope and influence. There’s been a consistent quality to their dream-pop, retro sound throughout the years, and on this track you can see that they’ve honed their sound and vision. If you like what you hear on this track, I highly recommend listening to their prior albums in preparation for this new release.

Galey Caverly

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