Science & Sanity (named after the book by Alfred Korzybski) is a 24 year old Scandinavian singer-songwriter. The single “Officer Wayne” is his debut release. Before we get to know Science & Sanity, it may be interesting to recap on Alfred Korzybski’s thoughts. According to Wikipedia, Korzybski ‘argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and the languages humans have developed, and thus no one can have direct access to reality, given that the most we can know is that which is filtered through the brain’s responses to reality.’
Science & Sanity’s voice has a dark beauty that reminds me of Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake. I first started listening to this track after a late night shift while it was dark and windy. When the first drumbeats came in over the speakers, I knew I was in for something incredibly different. A genuine story teller with a gift for portraying intimate stories in way that becomes humanely universal, the soft effects and very minimalistic instrumentation add to this atmospheric song.
It wasn’t what I was expecting, nor was it the sort of music I tend to listen to anyway. Yet the almost sad, plaintive, sweet, nostalgic, warm offbeat sound somehow clicked with me. Science & Sanity sounds like an artist who possesses a fantastic imagination and an eccentric personality that shines through in his music, whether it is his lyrics or the music that fits them perfectly.
Listening to “Officer Wayne” you’ll get to lie down in a darkened room totally surrendering your inner vulnerabilities and senses, to the cutting social commentary, Science & Sanity delivers on the extremely actual theme of a police officer who is totally blinded by his petty righteousness, learned from following Horatio Caine. I’m not sure if the Horatio Caine referred to here is the one from CSI: MIAMI, but I suspect it may be. Lyrically, Science & Sanity doesn’t slouch. He knows how to direct what he’s talking about as the first half of the song reads:
Handsome and strong the officer stands
He’s ready for a gun fight
With anyone who’s smoking grass
Or pissing in the moonlight
With that homoerotic hat
And his laces neatly tied
He’s a victim and a guide of the worldwide
Religious dreams of the stateside
Chest out, arms crossed
Ready to obey
He cannot wait to pepper spray
These lawless actions till they go away
It’s ineffective, it’s inhumane
But Wayne’s not to blame for his lame campaign
The poor man grew up with Horatio Caine
Science & Sanity’s music and words seem to grow out of their bounds, mixing seamlessly with the listener’s own personal memories, thoughts and fears, making it possible to explain just why this song reminds you of that one particular person you know, and have seen behave in a similar way, but couldn’t find the courage to talk about; whilst the song is a perfect description of the night when everything went horribly wrong…because of some over-zealous action from someone in a uniform.
Much like Tom Waits, Science & Sanity’s voice is certainly an acquired taste. “Officer Wayne” is obviously not packaged for mainstream radio – no flash, no pretense, just challenging lyrics, and a very light musical backing next to a dramatically dominant storytelling voice with an eclectic delivery.