The Pacific Northwest offers pine-lined mountain ridges, picturesque lakes and some of the most serene, uncorrupted beauty that one is likely to find in America. It also offers the ominous grey skies that pervade Seattle and often seep into the pores of its inhabitants. Cody Foster, the artist better known as Sadistik, calls Seattle home and knows the natural splendor as well as he knows the seasonal affective disorder that can carry on long past winter.
From his earliest recordings, Sadistik has used the vocal booth to create emotive etchings of thoughts that pound so furiously on his frontal lobe that they can’t help but make their way out of his mouth. His 2008 debut The Balancing Act, produced by Emancipator, showcased a hopeless romantic setting fires in a cold world through tracks such as “Ashes to Ashley” (featuring Mac Lethal) and “Searching For Some Beautiful”. Two collaborative efforts would follow in the form of The Art Of Dying, produced by Kid Called Computer, and 2011’s explosive Prey For Paralysis record alongside Kristoff Krane and Graham O’Brien.
The elusive beautiful that Sadistik sought on his debut album The Balancing Act is captured sonically on Flowers For My Father and garnished with an array of styles he has experimented with over the past few years. Here we have an emcee unafraid to expose the brooding that robs him of sleep through songs diagramming self-destructive tendencies and the sad sweetness of lovers lost. Such intrepid introspection has seldom been seen since Sage Francis, an artist with whom Sadistik has collaborated, released Personal Journals over a decade ago. A child of the backpack heyday, Sadistik learned from the best the scene had to offer, from the aforementioned Sage and Mac Lethal to the late, great Eyedea. You can hear Eyedea’s indelible influence on urgent confessionals such as “Melancholia” and the Cage-assisted “Russian Roulette”. That which Eyedea left behind in this world resonates deeply within Sadistik, as he keeps his friend’s message of hope and love in the face of adversity alive, and pays touching tribute on “Micheal”.
Flowers For My Father, which features guest shots from Astronautalis, Ceschi and Child Actor, marks Sadistik's first solo long player since The Balancing Act and charts his growth in spades. The spoken word close of intro track “Petrichor” foreshadows the open book to come: “I want nothing more than to tear every piece of my flesh off one by one to show you what’s been hiding underneath”.
Evolving his style to a more synthesized rendition of a signature cinematic Seattle sound, the new album displays a distinct juxtaposition of Sadistik's complex, vulnerable writing with textured, ambient production handled by the likes of Blue Sky Black Death and Kno of CunninLynguists. The result is his most mature and revealing project to date, with lush soundscapes lifting Sadistik’s verses from a vast darkness.
Shortly after the release of The Balancing Act, Sadistik's father tragically passed. Never one to shy away from heavy topics or keep his personal life personal, Sadistik wrote Flowers for his late father, choosing to treat each song as an update of what has happened in his life since. This is reflected in writing that delves into depression, heartbreak, optimism and the struggle to make sense of the ever-shifting pieces in the world around him.