We’ve heard “Glory Days” from Bruce Springsteen and “Golden Years” from David Bowie. There’s even “In My Life” from The Beatles and who can forget “It Was a Very Good Year” from Frank Sinatra. These legendary singers and songwriters have tried to encapsulate the idea of looking back, of revering the past. One new artist putting his hat into the ring is the magnetic Leo Sawikin. His new single “Golden Days” is a dashing pop rock offering. It’s the first track from his debut album, Row Me Away, that is expected to land in the early months of 2021.
Many people are adverse to change – it could be changing routines or even major decisions like moving to a new state. What Sawikin connects with best to his listener in “Golden Days” is the treasured feeling for the past, but trepidation for the future. He gathers those feelings and harnesses them in the words. His piano, a fine choice to bridge these lonely emotions, serves him well. “Golden Days” stays within its lane and owns it. Sawikin, who is also the voice of alternative folk/rock band, The Chordaes, has an amber-laced voice. He has hues of whiskey and scarlet, mixed with a deep blue. The tone is his voice is commanding, but very approachable. There’s nothing like withdrawal from a rocking vibe to a moving, emotional ballad.
One of the verses goes long ago, far out at sea, when the colors still all surrounded me, one minute I shut my eyes and woke to find, a world that had become color blind, what a state of mind. In many ways these lines remind me of the glasses those with depression see the world through. A grayness. One is trying to search for the vibrancy of life all-around of them. It’s like the world shut off and we’re living in a black-and-white episode of the Twilight Zone. Sawikin is remarkably stoic. I found it interesting, too, that he uses the sea as a landmark. It’s a great visual, and could be taken as a metaphor of the sea’s waves or tide bringing the old and the new. You’ll be reminiscing in no time and with Sawikin’s voice as the captain, it’s a smooth sailing ahead. He’s re-assuring, and gives his best, genuine performance. The listener might want to visit the past, and get a little emotional, but it’s a visit, not a permanent move. Yesteryear is gone; Sawikin looks to the future in his own unique way.
“Golden Days” is an exceptional song, a real triumph for Leo Sawikin. I look forward to hearing more from him and the EP Row Me Away. By the sound of the title, it appears that he will be using the sea or water metaphor again. Whatever floats his boat. “Golden Days” is a fantastic track. It’s a highlight of this year’s best new music. While there haven’t been many victories or positive news, it seems, in 2020, “Golden Days” satisfies the heart. High marks indeed for this exciting New York City-based musician and songwriter
by Bethany Page