Sandor Gavin – “Trading Teardrops” Feat. Shalee – Single Review
Heyyyyyyy…wait a second here…is that the ol’ Patrick Nagel?
Some of you will get that, most of you won’t; if you were a child of the 80s/90s however, there’s a good chance you saw pictures just like this single’s artwork hanging up throughout your house. I know I did. I can’t imagine they were anything but reprints, but no doubt Nagel does classy real well, and my first stepmother, the person responsible for me even knowing anything about Patrick’s work, remains to this day, one very classy lady. Anyhow! I have no idea if it IS one, but it definitely sure has the look to it.
Synthwave…Electro-Pop…Retrowave…Synth-Pop…you could call a song like “Trading Teardrops” by Sandor Gavin how you like – I’m sure all of these genres & labels would be acceptable & relevant to what he creates. Just like the image that comes along with the song, this shiny new single right here was able to bring me right back to the roots of my childhood pretty much, when flashy neon sounds like this ruled the world. While I’ve gone on record here about a million times on these pages claiming I was born Grunge…it’s more accurate to say I was raised Grunge, eventually – the world I was actually born into was just snapping out of the groundbreaking Prog era from the 70s decade, opting much more in favor of…well let’s just call it like it is shall we? In favor of something that’s generally much easier to like with the synth sounds of the 80s showing up along in tandem with a whole bunch of sing-along hooks. And long before I grew my first Kurt-style goatee or put on my first plaid shirt, I’d likely be found sitting in the backseat of my parents car while they cruised around, begging them to turn up something like Starship’s “Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now” as the entire music-scene morphed from Rock to Pop sounds. What you likely don’t know or wouldn’t realize…is that I’ve never stopped being proud of this at all; just like Cobain had ABBA records he’d put on for his own enjoyment…it didn’t matter how Grunge I got over the years (and believe me I got greasy) – my love for flashy synth-based Pop has never, ever left me.
And if Sandor Gavin wants to make me confess all this all over again…well…I mean, I really have no choice. I put on “Trading Teardrops,” I feel the vibe, I hear the colorful sound & that spark of energy & that wonderful bounce it has…and what…I’m supposed to resist this somehow? Retrowave, as you youngins out there like to call it…is entirely built on a foundation of what’s actually become a timeless sound. For a while, we thought the 80s had this style on-lock, but the past two decades has proven to take the proverbial ball and run with it like never before, expanding the potential of the entire genre & sound into tunes just like “Trading Teardrops” today. A master-class on getting it right – Sandor Gavin and Shalee have created a single that’s extremely true to the style & true to the vision they both had for the outcome…it’s a real case of setting out to make a song in a specific style, and coming out winning.
Like the definition of a collaboration truly implies, they both bring their A-game to this sparkling synthetic jam, but also a balance of strengths that leans on each other to get the best out of “Trading Teardrops” overall. As in, the music would have been great on its own yes, and Shalee’s likely always going to be able to sing with bold & bright tones no matter where you find her – but combined together here, they’ve latched onto just about everything I can think of that made 80s music great and continued to make it relevant for the right here & now through this new tune. Gavin is a stellar producer & electro artist that has got every digitalized corner of this cut perfectly in-line, stocked & loaded with spectacular flavor for your ears, and he’s delivered on setting the stage for guest-star Shalee to come in and put the cherry on top, which she will. Emulating the perfect Pop-style vocals that fueled the music of the 80s era straight to the top of the charts, Shalee nails her performance on “Trading Teardrops,” taking what would have been one seriously jammin’ instrumental that I would have already listened to, definitively into something much more endearing and accessible to all by adding her radiant voice into this single. If the sleek & stylistic design of the verses doesn’t sell you immediately – and it likely will – the burst of vivid sound & melody that raises the stakes in the chorus will definitely seal the deal for any of you reluctant hold-outs. Shalee is relentlessly charming and a stunning fit for this vibe created by Sandor – and she’s got remarkable songwriting instincts when it comes to how she’s structured her lyrics into this tune. Listen to smart moves being made like the repetition of certain words throughout the verses to enhance the rhythm – that alone always brought a smile to my face in listening to this track, Shalee’s really clever on the mic & how she brings her energy into this song in wonderfully complementary ways to what Gavin’s created in the music…or the pure Pop brilliance revealed in the melody when she sings the chorus, that’s magic too y’all. Unified, together, on-point as ONE – that’s the sound of a collaboration that works, and that’s exactly what these two give ya in the way they tackle “Trading Teardrops” from start to finish. More than satisfied & stoked about what I hear in this moment shared between Sandor Gavin and Shalee – “Trading Teardrops” is an excellent single-worthy song, and hopefully a sign of more collaborations to come from this duo right here – I hear every reason as to why they should keep on doing more of this.
Find out more about Sandor Gavin at his official homepage: https://www.sandorgavin.com