Seven Saturdays by Zoe-Ruth Erwin

Musician/composer/arranger Jonathan Haskell, who records under the moniker Seven Saturdays wants you to know that, despite any evidence to the contrary, it’s going to be o.k.

At least that’s the sense that I get when I listen to Seven Saturdays‘ self titled, debut full length.

This rings even more true considering the origins of this project: A six song EP composed and performed by Haskell to ease the dread he was feeling during an extended stay in Edinburgh, Scotland about his impending return to his native Los Angeles.

On his recently released full length, however, it’s safe to say he’s embraced his hometown surroundings. “Seven Saturdays” employs a slew of local talent from guest vocalists Jim Evens (Hellen Stellar) and Jaqueline Santillan (Wait Think Fast) to the an excellent co-producer/contributor Daniel Farris (Polyphonic Spree, St. Vincent, Zach Galifianakis).

The music on this full length feels like it’s expanded neatly, and organically from the introductory EP. It’s cinematic, and expansive – epic in a sly, knowing sort of way. Special attention must be paid to Haskell’s superb skill with musical arrangements, not a single note, chord progression, or even saxophone solo feels misplaced. This quality brings me back to to my first statement about how this album, and this project in general has the ability to fill anyone who finds themselves listening to it with a sense of ease, and comfort.

Even the nervy atmosphere created by the glitchy track “Quiet Days” seems to heighten the beauty and reassurance contained within the track that follows it, “Standing on Shadows Still.

Singapore-born, part-time Los Angeles resident Vanessa Fernandez does a bracingly beautiful job on that track, and it’s a great testament to the fact that Haskell is equally as good at choosing collaborators as he is at his own composition and arrangement. That said, one of the most intriguing collaborations related to this new album is the remix of it’s second single, “Make Note of Every Sound“, by London band Sun Airway.

Catch Seven Saturdays live at the Standard in West Hollywood on Wednesday July 17th for our own Valida’s weekly music series Desert Nights!

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