Backyard Opera’s latest premiere comes from Sydney-based alt-electronic producer Sakr. Entitled ‘Lost Steps’ the song’s restrained construction and moments of pulsating energy chronicle Sakr’s personal relationship with anxiety.
Alone in a studio, surrounded by electronic keyboards and percussion instruments, ‘Lost Steps’ sets the scene for an introspective yet charged performance. Encased in his signature black shroud, Sakr’s fingers prod at the keyboard for the song’s opening chords as Sakr’s vocals mimic the drawn out notes. Synthesised through the machines in front of him, Sakr creates an aural landscape similar to those constructed by the likes of James Blake. The combination of held and warped moments harks back to earlier work from the English singer and producer, such as that off his self-titled first album.
Sakr also utilises more acoustic-sounding sounds from the keys in front of him. Working across this range of timbres highlights the skills of this producer who until now has often been hidden in the shadows. Having produced work for the likes of Guy Sebastian, Dua Lipa and the Veronicas and previously released under the moniker Nrthn, this is only the second release from Sakr after last year’s ‘Home Again’.
Unlike that release, Sakr confines the more verbose elements to a few select moments. While ‘Home Again’ borrowed from the trap-inspired electronica of North America, ‘Lost Steps’ confines similar sounds to a short turn by Sakr on the drum machine, allowing listeners to swell in the greater expanses of ‘Lost Steps’. Indeed, just as the musical elements of the track could easily lead to visual representations of high precipices, the lyrics follow this image. Singing, “I’m fading, losing my balance” we can see Sakr teetering on the edge of being consumed by those inner thoughts which shut out all else.
“’Lost Steps’ is a sonic capture of those moments I have falling through that ice, and searching for the surface,” highlights Sakr.
Watch the clip below.