Ant Saunders has had a busy year. Since his track ‘Yellow Hearts’ went viral (responsible for a whole host of Tik-Tok dances as a result) the versatile singer is showing no signs of stopping. ‘Yellow Hearts’ was a minimal pop track with an underlying R&B influence, whereas ‘Effortless’, his latest release, is a venture into purer pop territory.
Speaking to Distract TV, Saunders said he wrote the track after his girlfriend moved to college: “I wanted to write it to let her know that I’m not gonna let the distance discourage me and get in the way of our relationship. That’s the power of love!” This message means even more this year, as many of us are separated from our partners and loved ones.
The power of love ruminates throughout ‘Effortless’. The song unusually opens with the chorus, drawing attention to its message: “We knew this wouldn’t be effortless / but that don’t affect my preference / no way I could think different / it’s always gonna be this way”. Saunders’ vocals are sublime. His warm, lustrous tones sail freely through a crisp, lively beat. Gentle guitar thrums and steady synths dance, creating a track that feels like fresh cut grass and sunshine.
Around two minutes in, the instruments take a step back. The track finishes with just gentle strums and Saunders’ velvety voice. In a lo-fi reminiscent style, the production deliberately becomes slightly compressed. The vocals and guitar sound crackly and subdued, producing a nostalgic, wistful sound: “We’re just running round like the kids we are / maybe we’re supposed to take no precautions / baby like there ain’t no other options”. These lyrics epitomise the song. Feeling young, carefree, and in love is the essence of ‘Effortless’.
Ant Saunders brings a track reminding us that love can survive the distance, a reminder that many of us need right now. Cheery, romantic and euphoric, ‘Effortless’ is the right track to finish off this lousy summer.
Words by Rosh Ilyas