Dain Saint | still from video
Dain Saint grieves for a tumultuous year in the solemn single “City Don’t Sing”
We first encountered Philadelphia musician and songwriter Dain Saint back in 2017, when his Saint Anytime project caught my ear during the Items Tagged Philadelphia project. That project was filled with club-ready beats and towering electronic production — but lately, the clubs have been closed, and Saint reverted back to making contemplative music under his own name.
“City Don’t Sing” landed on streaming services just before the holidays, and a solemn black and white video was released this week to pair with it. In it, we see Saint perched on a stool in the distinctive corner stage of center city hang Franky Bradley’s, playing a melancholy, meditative bass line, and singing about loneliness and loss.
“My heart breaks for the people that need other people, can’t get through life alone,” goes the refrain, as the footage cuts away to footage of Black Lives Matter protests, health care workers on the front lines of COVID, and lines of people waiting…to vote? To buy groceries? For this pandemic to be over? “My heart breaks for the people when the city don’t sing no more.”
Over email, Saint tells us “I wrote this back in April, while reflecting on the lockdown, the loss of Philly’s nightlife, the continued fight for freedom, and a general sense of longing for community. I hope it provides some catharsis and recognition as we move into a new year.”
Watch the video below, and grab a download of the track on Bandcamp.