Sam’s Play is a solo artist currently located in New York. Prior to working on his release Trailer Grapes he played lead guitar in a number of bands in Rhode Island. The artist mentions: “Inspired by acts such as Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Songs; Ohia, Tom Waits and many others.” I’m also a big fan of those artists and just based on that information I was guessing this was going to be a dark and melancholy experience.
The EP starts with “Castle Walls” and you are greeted with a soulful bluesy sound. I loved the guitar melodies especially how two different guitar parts sounded together. The vocals are hushed but lacked an intimate quality I was looking for. I was having some trouble making out the lyrics but regardless this was still a great song.
“Wam” is next and again the guitar work is great. The drums and bass while solid felt like they were supporting the guitar melodies. I thought the vocals were a little more clear on this song and definitely worked in terms of the mood and emotive quality.
“Liaison” is just guitar work and there are multiple melodies. In this case there’s intricate picking and the first time we hear the artist play lead. He does thrive here as well and treats it more like he’s playing in a rock song which somehow works.
Last up is “Under The Weather” and I was all about the introduction of the banjo on this song. It fits the song and was a surprise I was happy to hear. Lyrically, this song is about the concept of heaven. The artist sings “Can you hear the birds singing / As you lay there on your own / Have you found a private Eden / A place that you can call your own.”
This release is lo-fi but works for the style of music it is. I think a little more compression on the vocals may have made it sound more intimate but overall the instruments were well mixed.
If you enjoy the aforementioned bands I think you will enjoy this release. Take a listen.
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