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Track Review: Sentient Robot // From The Outset (Your Own Way)

Having played a variety of musical projects, five experienced musicians decided to take on the Manchester indie scene with their own type of indie-rock/Britpop. Inspired greatly by acts like David Bowie, REM and Talking Heads, Nat O’Brien (vocals and songwriter), Steve Marsden (guitar and producer), Sam Morris (bass), Pete Marshall (drums) and Andrew Stewardson (keys) become Sentient Robot. Together the group had a wealth of experience behind them, but it was in 2018 they decided to go to their home studios and develop an “indie-synth pop” sound. The latest addition to their discography is ‘From The Outset (Your Own Way)’.

Newbies in the scene, but veterans of the music industry, Sentient Robot have released several singles each with increasing noise around them – press and, well, literally noise. The follow-up to their single ‘Afterglow’, ‘From The Outset (Your Own Way)’ is an upbeat, energetic, lighthearted and catchy track. The David Bowie and Talking Heads influence are highly evident of this track, as with most of their other singles, using a playful interaction between guitar and synths; as well as a Bowie-esque vocal delivery.

While ‘From The Outset (Your Own Way)’ is sonically blithe and seemingly jovial, the single is lyrically poignant. Written by O’Brien and Marsden, the track has a solemn narrative melding in with the flow of the track. What I mean is, the instrumentation and shimmering synths dips and rises showing a juxtaposition between lyrics and melody.

“Synth pop, alternative indie with interesting musical juxtapositions is what the band strive for.” – Sentient Robot on ‘For The Outset (Your Own Way)’

What I find particularly enjoyable about this track is the guest accompaniment. Josh Poole brings in the sax sounds, and the band even gets their kids involved. Kudos to Marshall, O’Brien and Morris’ offspring for their outstanding vocals.

Sentient Robot has also released an official music video for ‘For The Outset (Your Own Way)’ that can be viewed on their YouTube.

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