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Indulge in Real Love with ‘Sweet to Me’

Trick the Dog channels what genuine love feels like
Trick the Dog formulates a heartwarming tracklist.
Grade: A
Photo Credit: Trick the Dogy

In a world full of albums about heartbreak and dismay, it’s rare to find an entire musical release full of pure, good-hearted love, but “Sweet to Me” diversifies the stereotype of heartbreak music. Trick the Dog, also known as Zekai Miles, is a small, local artist based in Henderson, Nevada. Publishing music since 2020, he has released seven original albums on his Spotify. His latest release, “Sweet to Me” is his first publicly released EP with the indie songs all addressing themes of love prevalent in Miles’ life. With less than 200 monthly listeners on Spotify, this budding artist deserves far more recognition.

Opening the EP with “work in progress,” Miles demonstrates his talent in effortlessly conveying sweetness with lyrics such as “Cause I’m a work in progress and it’s hard to open up / Sometimes I wanna run away sometimes it doesn’t mean that much / But somehow you still choose to stick around / You’re my special pretty baby and I think I know that now.” These lyrics address the struggles of opening up to someone and struggling personally, but still finding love and support from someone else. This message is incredibly endearing and clearly a vulnerability for the artist. An enduring acoustic guitar perfectly compliments the message of the song surrounded by the honest lyrics..

“Wordful,” the second track of this release, is slightly more fast paced than the previous song. The lyrics ruminate on the relatable predicament of finding the right time to say “I love you,” along with how it feels to believe you are undeserving of love. The lyrics, “It was always meant to be, you were always over there / Life kept us close, always two people apart / The universe was waiting for the moment that they knew was ours,” go over both of these topics and deliver in it a simple, sentimental way. This song is lyrically focused, opposed to other musically-focused tracks.

In the third track, “for u, i’d die,” Miles continues to explore the theme of love and hopefulness. “And I think maybe love does exist / And I think that if I lose myself in all of this / At least I had you there’s no one else I want to / See the whole world with / It all feels brand new.” This lyric shows off the fact that Miles didn’t believe that love existed prior to his current partner, but now he can open his eyes to the world and how he wants to explore it with his partner. This song has sweeter sounds in it, mixing synth, guitar, and additional sound samples in the background that make it sound more alive. This song is my personal favorite from the EP. It feels the most put together and well mixed, adding in additional sounds rather than just guitar. This variety of instruments blends well into the genre Miles is aiming for. With a more diverse sound, it’s overall more interesting and thought provoking to listen to.

The fourth track, “larger than life/bigger than screens,” had an ending that was one to be fond of. The delivery of “It’s larger than life bigger than screens / The stars in the sky, the wind in the trees / You keep me safe and you make me holy” and the rising intensity as it leads in to the final verse of the song shows the passion of these lyrics and how it makes Miles’ feel intensely positive. The final line, “You make me better than everything I wish I was” is delivered with the most passion and shows off the hopefulness and gratitude Miles shows towards his partner for making him a better person than he ever knew to be possible. Though the song is still quite simple, I find this song to have a more prevalent message than most indie songs. It’s direct with its delivery, but it works well to emphasize the point and wash over it with metaphors like many songs tend to do.

The final song, “my love – tape version” is an exemplary ending to the EP. The soft delivery of the lyrics in the song brings it together and fills the listener with the familiar feeling of comfortable love. The lyrics “Cause I fell in my dreams but I never woke up / And they’re sweet like the first kiss and warm like the sun / No ones ever wanted me the way that they do / And it scares me to death but I’m in love with the view,” perfectly sums up how it feels to have a new, refreshing love in your life. This perfectly combats the common occurrence of heartbreak in music. By giving the listener such pure lyrics makes them envision a more admirable love rather than dwelling on terrible ex partners, like other music tends to do.

Altogether, “Sweet to Me” deserves more recognition than it currently has. Trick the Dog has an incredible amount of potential and would fit perfectly into the niche of the indie genre. The EP overall is very consistent with its production quality and variety of instruments. With a simple guitar backing the entire release, each song clearly fits in with the others. The messages of each song blend together to make a heartwarming set of tracks. I deeply enjoyed listening to this release and some songs found their way into my most love-centric playlists.

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