Song of the Day: Saun & Starr - Gonna Make Time

Song of the Day
07/06/2015
Jacob Webb
photo by Kyle Dean Reinford

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Gonna Make Time” by Saun & Starr from the 2015 album Look Closer on Daptone Records.

Saun & Starr - Gonna Make Time (MP3)

The musical journey of the South Bronx vocal duo Saun & Starr is long and winding, but one that always returns to the rich, harmonious soul music that led them to embark on their paths in the first place. Saundra Williams and Starr Duncan Lowe both grew up singing from a young age, first crossing paths in the 1980s in open mic circles. The duo connected intermittently until the 1990s, when they were both (coincidentally) hired for a wedding band alongside a then-unknown Sharon Jones. Some years later, when Jones was looking for backing vocalists, she made the call to Williams and Lowe, who quickly became part of Jones' backing group The Dap Kings. The duo began sessions with the Dap Kings, which resulted in Daptone Records' fastest selling 45" single and, in 2015, their long-developing full-length debut, Look Closer. "Gonna Make Time" drifts with a crisp, languid tempo, giving space for both singers to shine in both lead and harmony roles. Williams and Lowe sound completely at ease as they belt, coo, and harmonize around The Dap Kings' steady, subtle instrumentation. Despite the wealth of vocal talent in the group, "Gonna Make Time" doesn't explode out of the gate with the volume and power the duo certainly have. Instead, it invites the listener to give the song time to reveal the nuance in each melodic turn that the duo go down, which makes for a fascinating, rich listen.

Saun & Starr will embark on a European tour this fall. Keep up with their travels over at their Facebook and website, and watch the video for Look Closer's title track below.

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