Saro is not a musician to listen to for joy, but that's okay. Evan Windom, the Los Angeles-based musician who goes by the moniker Saro isn't afraid to bask in sadness on his new EP, Boy Afraid. "Happy is boring. No one I know is truly happy so it doesn't feel sincere," he explained to OUT. "I gravitate toward bleak because bleak surrounds me. I'll leave happy to Pharrell."
We'd prefer Charli XCX to Pharrell, but the sentiment is all the same: Saro is there for you when you're feeling bleak and alone, which is something we've all felt. It's this feeling of grief that pushes him forward creatively on the new EP as he sings about time killing his friends and other topics you'd usually write down in a journal or tell your therapist, which makes this a perfect winter album.
Before we light a candle and cry in bed to the sound of his haunting vocals, though, we talked to the artist about the new album and what he does to unwind when he's not creating melancholy music.
OUT: Your music often comes from a dark place. Do you feel better when you put these thoughts and feelings into your songs?
Saro: I do! Writing is the outlet. It is similar to bloodletting. Some people who have met me don't understand how my music is so dark because I can be pretty jovial in person.
In your track "Sky Doesn't Blue," you sing "Time is killing all my friends." What do you mean by this lyric?
The meaning is mostly literal. Sadly, I have lost more loved ones than most in the past half-decade.
The title of the EP is Boy Afraid. What are you afraid of?
Spiders, failure, and my ability to emotionally detach.
What do you do to unwind when you're not making music?
Pornhub. The occasional video game when I have time. I also love surfing or just floating in the ocean. I've been writing a lot of shitty poetry lately, too.
How has your identity factored into your music?
I guess rejecting societal norms within my identity has given me the confidence to shy away from what the industry asks of me. I feel empowered to evade those trying to box me in and to take the risks I want artistically.
There's often a bleak tone to a lot of your music. Is this purposeful or is it just difficult to write "happy" music when you've got so much on your mind?
I can write happy but happy is boring. No one I know is truly happy so it doesn't feel sincere. I gravitate toward bleak because bleak surrounds me. I'll leave happy to Pharrell.
There are references to guys throughout the EP. How much of your love life bled into the album?
Yes, there are relationship references riddled throughout the songs but Boy Afraid deals more with the relationship I'm nurturing with myself. Yes, I've had lovers and companions but I've never been one to get bogged down by love. I have learned love to be fleeting--impermanent. The lyrics come from how those relationships have shaped my outlook on the world.