Not all music is enjoyed equally. One may like a song but not truly love it. One may love a song but only listen to it on occasion. It is difficult to find something that truly seizes our attention. Even more so, finding something that makes space in our cluttered lives is difficult. With Angels Don’t Call Me, Sækyi carves his own spot, coalescing his wide sonic influences and boundless vocal talents into a purposeful, refined, and refreshing project. Swiftly switching between silky R&B vocals and energized rap verses, the project is a statement, carefully balancing vulnerability with confidence.
Executively produced by Brandon Jhon, the project lays a strong foundation with its opening track, “The Forgotten.” Blissful Rhodes chords, a suave bass line, and crispy drums provide just enough space for Sækyi to detail his quest for inner peace. His musings are accentuated by religious overtones. Sækyi says, “can’t talk to God about my shit I swear she never listen.”
These overtones persist throughout the project, oftentimes juxtaposed with gospel-inspired vocal layering. This is most evident in the project’s title track. Shimmering synth chords and a phased synth bass build tension in the mix, beginning with a stripped-down performance of the track’s hook. Following a rap verse, a choir joins Sækyi for the final hook, molding an equally grandiose and serene atmosphere.
Topically, this track gives insight into what, “God,” Sækyi refers to throughout the project. The hook states, “you reign down from above,” a common refrain in Christian Worship music. However, Sækyi’s verse is addressed to his former lover. He states, “I can’t breathe without you baby / don’t know life and I can’t be without you lady.”
Throughout the project, God is referred to as “she.” This could mean that Sækyi believes in – but has a tenuous relationship with – a maternal higher power. However, “Angels Don’t Call Me,” suggests that the god he refers to is his former lover. Their impact on his life has reached a supernatural extent. At the very least, these lines between a conventional and unconventional god are blurred, perhaps intentionally.
Immediately following the title track is, “Pressure,” an introspective banger featuring some of the project’s best verses. Steady piano hits and a prominent double bass set the stage for Sækyi to discuss how his trials and tribulations have allowed him to flourish. “I Still Love You,” and, “If You Must Go,” begin to round out the project, highlighted by careful, dynamic production and strong vocal performances. The former track bears a strong neo-soul influence, spearheaded by soaring backing vocals, delicate guitar accents, and fluid chord changes. The latter features the project’s strongest hook, alongside an impressive showing of Sækyi’s full vocal range. The track’s final verse sees Sækyi at his most passionate and poignant, fervently reminding the listener, “you can’t outrun your fears.”
The project concludes with the eerie and tense, “I Will Wait For You.” Dissonant, shrieking synth notes march up and down the track, echoing the uncertainty and doubt expressed by Sækyi throughout. He says, “I would do more if I could / But my only prison is time / Death is the lonely escape from a life that we love / In a world that we hate.” Following a final plea to his higher power, a bold guitar solo concludes the project, a sonic representation of the project’s emotional ambivalence.
Angels Don’t Call Me wears its heart on its sleeve but avoids doing so in a manner that feels stale or unfocused. It synthesizes various sonic influences, with hints of EDM, neo-soul, and hip-hop conjoining to form a truly unrivaled body of work. Sækyi is audibly impassioned throughout, clamoring for love, hope, and patience in a world with little margin for error. With Angels Don’t Call Me, Sækyi not only answered the call but has become firmly entrenched in his calling, confidently fortifying the foundations of his artistic legacy.
Stream the new album below.