1) “The Sours is a meritorious debut album that comes across as introverted and honest through Sarah Schrift’s subdued singing along with its soothing musical accompaniment. Those that appreciate music (and do not mind a touch of the melancholy) will enjoy this feminine version of Nick Drake, especially late night with a glass of Merlot in hand." -ProLog Afterglow (album of the week)
2) "There is a secret hidden magic in The Sours: not every album leaves a long lasting impression of its mood. The Sours have succeeded in this." -Jazzquad
3) “The music from New York's acoustic trio The Sours sounds refreshingly simple. It is unpretentious and more than ornamental. The Sours reach out with understated simplicity and rawness. They are more about human emotion and authenticity than technical production. They have a gentle and quiet forcefulness in their close sounding sound which is surprisingly great, even spectacular. Their songs are rather straight-forward and subdued and not exaggerated or boastful. This is likable songwriting. It is irreverent and for everyday use.” -Melodiva
4) “…Sarah actually feels her lyrics, and she spreads that feeling to the listener, I honestly felt touched.”
“…I can say their charm lies in the apparent simplicity, because the whole album has the same style (acoustic guitar-mellow voice) but it does not mean the music is repetitive, no, each track has its own story to tell, and its own sound.” –The Rocktologist
5) “The greatest value this album holds in the end is the remarkable quality that if a musical idea is good, it can be pulled off with without too many tricks.” –Mentelocale
6) “More than once one finds a voice of intensity – a young Kate Bush comes to mind.”
“The Sours crawl deep under the skin, settle down into a far corner of the soul and create a cozy, radiant heat from the core. It is music both for the head and the abdomen.” –Rocktimes
7) “Their stripped-down performance stresses the sincerity endemic to simplicity. They are content to let the music, which covers a variety of moods and styles, speak for itself.”
“Looked at as indie pop, folk, or straight-ahead jazz, The Sours is an album filled with the kind of music that deserves an audience.” –Blogcritics
8) “There’s something so strange and chill about the Sours’ self-titled album, out since 2013 on ZoZe Music. The Sours are musicians, artists, and music therapists from New York. They are vocalist/guitarist/lyricist Sarah Schrift — the narrative of the 11 original, musical journal entries, guitarist Sasha Markovic, and pianist Kana Kamitsubo.
Together, they exchange innermost thoughts with the listener in a kind of music therapy session. Schrift, who’s also a painter and jeweler, provides the voice throughout this confessional, as if she’s the only one in the room, alone with her observations.
Her voice is matter-of-fact, touchingly sincere, without regret, and totally relatable, as she sings plaintively about everyday matters (“you and that lady, drinking that drink”) laced with hidden meaning. The strumming of the strings or the hum of some invisible opera is constant, as if to propel the narrative forward to the inevitable, enlightened conclusion — the ultimate Nietzsche.
To reach the rich honesty of the darkest thing in the room — the poignancy of her words in spoken, poetic manner — the listener wades through a mirage of echoes, waves, voluminous subconscious shades in musical form (“Gnt”). All are a part of the therapeutic experience. The music serves as Schrift’s cloak, the many layers people put on before going to battle out there. But it also sets the tone for her emotional shorthand, in colorful brocade, ever-shifting.” –Examiner.com
9) “The Sours have made a promising debut album filled with wistful melodies and poignant vocals. This is a mellow album best enjoyed well into the evening, preferably with that special someone by your side.”
-Sea of Tranquility
10) “This is eventide music, notes and words for that interleaving zone when day's done and night's impending, when one is alone with one's thoughts and a glass of tea or wine (or, in my case, absinthe), shadows lengthening, birds fluttering to sleep, the bustle and roar of the day ratcheting down to a beeline buzz, an over-the-horizon muted resonance of a distant thoroughfare. The duet is only twice augmented by the addition of a piano wielded by Kana Kamitsubo from Yagull, yet I find these tracks to be significant in that the presence of a third set of hands starts to bend The Sours in another direction, deepening the mood of the thread of ongoing narrative, contrasting the predominant atmosphere in order to sharpen its edges just a mite.
And I suspect that this outer periphery may well be an indication of things to come. When The Sours ends on Schrift's solo Egret, you find it to be the perfect denouement, that everything which should have been said was, and that you have neither questions nor reaction, just a sense of aptness, finality. No more music can be played unless you first go for a contemplative walk or just sit in the deepening gloom with a candle or soft light aglow in the corner. There aren't many discs that quietly stop the world like that, but this is one of them. Of course, my words cannot do the rare instance justice, so you have to listen. When you're done, you have to stop thinking. Just exist.” –Acousticmusic
11) “This eponymous debut album is quite impressive. Using just the guitar and vocals, The Sours succeed in presenting a beautiful and diversified set of songs.
Think Joni Mitchell. Think Neil Young.” –United Mutations
12) “Well this is something a wee bit different via planet MoonJune. If you’re looking for an easy marker, think Joni Mitchell in her “jazz” phase, fronting a lo-fi REM. But with better tunes.
This project is basically the baby of singer / songwriter Sarah Schrift, who has brought along producer and guitarist Sasha Markovic and pianist Kana Kamitsubo (on two tracks) to flesh out some interesting songs. And interesting is definitely the correct word, because even if you hate them, you can’t deny they’re a bit different. It’s the kind of thing that will get Mojo magazine a bit moist around the edges as they reminisce about the pre-hit Talking Heads, and how things were much better when they were lads.
Vocalist Sarah Schrift has a very listenable voice, and the arrangements and backing are top drawer stuff. So when the songs mark the setting, then it’s very enjoyable indeed, ason ‘everwas’ and ‘seawitch’, even if the casual attitude to capitalisation is a very bad thing.” –The Rocker (under the sours)
13) “This is a cool album. It’s more or less folk music, but there is quite a bit of range within that concept. This is mellow and the female vocals are quite effective.” –Music Street Journal
14) “The Sours music was most likely born out of several musicians and musical styles (jazz, folk, rock, etc.). They took some of the best elements of each genre and rolled them into one individual musical language. These skilled musicians put together an album that is delightful and enthusiastic. Hopefully they’ll be around for a long time to come. They have a repertoire of one promising composition following another from “Everwas” to “Survivalist” to “Kubrick” to “Egret”." –HFP
15) "Prior to “Blue”, Joni Mitchell was a known quantity and had to be acknowledged as a force of nature, but she wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Sarah Schrift is right in that same bag right now. The Sours are a guitar/vocal duo focused around Schrift. She delivers stark, confessional material that covers the highs, lows and in betweens with a vibe that shows her to be a real witness to real life. A bare bones production with so much presence that you don’t notice how bare bones it is, this is the beginning of a juggernaut that’s going to be more than a one hit wonder. Hot stuff that’ll blow singer/songwriter fans right out of their chairs. Check it out." –Midwest Record (5/10/14 under the sours)
16) “If the Big Apple had an alternative-indie sound then The Sours would be at the top of the list!
An indie act that drops a debut release with as much potential as The Sours is rare to be sure. Eleven originals that create lyrical snapshots of life that take on a unique organic pulse have The Sours as one of those word of mouth acts that should spread like wildfire once exposed to a wider audience. The songs are melodically deconstructed efforts that take eclectic to a new level. This is a harmonic mosaic of sound and texture drawing from a myriad of influence yet embracing their own artistic integrity.
Vocalist Sarah Schrift has a warm tone and the ability to play catch and release with a note that is rare. Schrift is also an acclaimed visual artist responsible for the striking cover art. This most unique ensemble is rounded off with producer / guitarist Sasha Markovic and pianist Kana Kamitsubo is featured on two tracks. From the raw emotive qualities of "Everwas" to the slightly more soaring ambient vibe of "R For Regret" there is a vast lexicon of sound despite what some might consider a limited harmonic baseline from which to pull.
Somewhere between coffee house music and N.P.R is a lyrical happy place that The Sours are staking their claim to. There is amazing cross over potential here with this musical resume leaving the listener wanting more. If this is not the best alternative indie release for the year then it would certainly stake a legitimate claim to one of the best half dozen.” –Critical Jazz
17) “The songs are quite nice and pretty, with beautiful vocal work, including some overdubs. Sarah's voice is clean and delicate and can be compared to Joni Mitchell. Listen to the album at the end of a bucolic afternoon or on a sunny Sunday morning.” –Prog Brasil