Sonder Son – Brent Faiyaz

One third of Sonder and Maryland-native Brent Faiyaz has released his debut album Sonder Son. It comes a year after his solo EP debut A.M Paradox was released before he, Atu and Dpat teamed up for the release of Into under the collective’s alias “Sonder”.

The release comes with very little promotion minus an Instagram post little under a month ago, and without any single release before the album came out. Faiy showed very little concern about this and for good reason.

The strength of Sonder is the minimalist and simple nature of their construction, using very little melody and letting Faiyaz’s voice encapsulate the emotional sentiment. Sonder Son is very different. The tape features a breadth of guitar riffs and harmonic tones for Faiyaz to spill far more than the trials of love.

Faiy starts off speaking about growing up, conforming, doing the wrong things with friends, skipping school and fearing his mother’s punishments as a child. The opening track “Home” begins with a harmony and extends into “Gang Over Luv”.

The album then starts with its first of many acoustic guitar chords on “Burn One (Interlude)”, a sound rarely associated with Faiyaz’s work. This theme continues throughout the album, with the crooner first addressing romance on the guitar-riddled “First World Problems/Nobody Cares” accompanied by a dull snare-drum line.

He goes into his geographical transcendence on the harmonic “Missing Out”, on the phone with a close friend asking them to link up with him before he leaves for LA, before he is suddenly there on “LA” giving props to the city and his new life filled with tirelessness of fame, and pleading with himself whether it’s all worth it.

He goes into some very 8701 vibes on “Stay Down” backed by more guitar chords, and even more so on “Talk 2 U” which has an alarming resemblance to Usher, with all the makings of a radio hit. The latter really tests his vocal range with the song being the first time we’ve really ever heard Brent throw a catchy hook into the mix. The instrumental diversity on this track is even more apparent.

The album finishes with a trio of emotional odes to a partner of his, expressing a helplessness to her on “So Far Gone/Fast Life Benz”. It’s apparent they have a falling out on “Needed” and “All I Want”, with the latter and closing track being almost open ended as to whether his fame was their downfall or they were able to reconcile. I guess we’ll find out on his next project.

Listen to Sonder Son here via Spotify.

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