The Savants of Soul
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The Savants of Soul


Band Alternative Soul




"Fresh Tracks: September 2012"

LOCAL PICK: Savants of Soul

by Greg Allard

I mean, how much could these young adults, barely into their 20s, know about a musical genre that was at its peak in the ‘60s and ‘70s—long before they were born? Now, upon listening to their debut single “Darkness,” produced by Dave Melosh, I am convinced.

The band’s debut release in the form of a digital 45, slated for sometime this September, is just like the way it used to be done back in the heyday of Soul—adjusted for the digital age—featuring “Darkness” as the A-side and “You’re All Mine” as the B-side.

“Darkness,” a Stax-like funky duo between singers Justin McKenzie and Kylie Winkles, is full of attitude and accusation about a man saying he regrets a love affair with a woman, who boldly says he can never break free of her.

By contrast, “You’re All Mine” features more of the sweet Motown-sound and a much more harmonizing lyrical content. “Babe, you get me high. That’s no lie—you’re just fine/Right down here with you, nothing to do—you’re all mine.”

Both songs have catchy hooks, cool guitar licks, rhythmic bass, well-placed keys, infectious drums, vocals with swag, and are replete with a horn section and the quality backup vocals the heart hankers for in soul music.

The Savants of Soul are a diverse group of serious and talented musicians who prove that hard work at your craft can equal a sound that is just pure fun. - INsite Magazine


Darkness (Digital 45)



Everybody could use a little soul, but not everyone is born soulful, especially three white guys from punk and indie bands.

So when drummer Alex Klausner, guitarist Brandon Stern, and bassist John Gray Shermyen decide to forgo indie-punk's winking, ironic emotional detachment, and embrace 60s R&B with open arms, it would've been no surprise to see them crash and burn.

Instead, by filtering Motown through their own musical backgrounds they've created songs that blend soul with a dash of indie, while perserving all the alternating swagger and earnestness that make Rhythm and Blues what it is.

The band added eight more members over a year, expanding its roster to include the electric vocal duo of Justin McKenzie and Kylie Winkles.

The Savants of Soul soon found themselves in Medusa Studios in Gainesville, Fla., recording its first single, "Darkness," released as a Digital 45 package in September 2012.

In the year the band has been performing shows together, its dynamic live show has graced the stages of Gainesville dozens of times, and they have been afforded the honor of serving as openers for The Wailers.