MAL DE MER Sanguine gets 7.5/10

After making their mark with debut single Wet Socks in 2018 and debut EP Gone Fishing in 2021, Mal De Mer have just released Sanguine, their biggest effort yet, with six new epic tracks. Singer of the Perth based six-piece Saskia Fleming, shared that “Sanguine is best encapsulated by the definition of its title: optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation.”

The opening track Mirage is permeated by jangly keys, wiry bass lines, bright guitars and sun-soaked melodies alongside Fleming’s striking vocal stylings. The song diverges from the band’s earlier funk roots, embracing lashings of electronic pop amongst their trademark wiles. The quirky film clip released with Mirage acts as a comical ode to farewelling a lousy relationship, starting off the EP with a bang.

Pray To You begins as a slower song with a sad feel but flips around upon the chorus and takes an upbeat rock and roll turn. The song has some epic trumpet, piano, and guitar accompaniments, rounded off with impressive harmonies.

The lyricism in Do You See Me? uncovers the sad reality of the post-breakup dark hole, with Flemings expressing “I haven’t said yes in days,” and “I haven’t left my bed in days.” The song builds up into a catchy tune, surrounded by rhythmic guitar and bass sounds.

Summer is a sadder song, and with a slower beat than you’d expect with such a title. It features haunting and passionate vocals which sum up the loneliness felt throughout what is meant to be a happier season.

The EP wraps up with the bittersweet, yet upbeat tune Time Flies that encapsulates the joyous emotions of finally putting your own wellbeing first, with lyrics “I wanna live my life,” and “I know that I will find happy.” The song takes a warm and feel-good turn here with a catchy chorus, making it a smashing ending to another genre-defying EP.

Much like the definition, Sanguine really takes you on an emotional trip of the lowest lows of a post-breakup and the defining moments of liberation. Mal De Mer have effectively continued to delve into new rhythms on this record, drawing inspiration from artists as diverse as Parcels, Anderson .Paak and Lil Nas X. After their debut EP in 2021, the band have managed to deliver yet another catchy, passionate and playful release, perfect for blasting in your car with the windows down after a bad day.