Meet Dean Bellingan: a saxophonist and songwriter from the Cape who weaves his multi-instrumental craft into rhythmic melodies that centre around the beloved sound of the sax. In fact, his love for the saxophone runs so deep that he formed the moniker ‘Saxinpublic’, gaining considerable fame travelling the world to play his instrument in diverse and colourful places.
Now, having settled back down in the Mother City, he’s released his first solo EP, Something Cool, a smoothly crafted 4-track record that’s both humorously engaging and freshly vibrant.
Each track is made up of a solid instrumental base replete in electric guitars, piano synths and machine drums – and it’s from this point that Bellingan then adds the bells and whistles, primarily in the form of romantic saxophone solos, but more surprisingly too, with his voice. Albeit toned right down and slightly monotonous, Bellingan’s vocal performance is a fittingly moody partner to his tingling compositions.
But possibly the best part of this album is the subtle comedy Bellingan infuses. Take “Night Night” and the lyrics, “the light in the street is bothering me / so I get up and make a cup of rooibos tea”. It’s so stark that it’s almost brittle compared to the vivid musical elements, but weirdly, it’s what gives this EP its attractive edge.