Posts tagged with "Sam Himself"

Saw Himself – Power Ballads

SAM HIMSELF FONDUE WESTERN’S INDIE ROCKER SHARES DEBUT ALBUM POWER BALLADS

NEW SINGLE “THE MISSING” IS OUT TODAY

LISTEN TO POWER BALLADS1

LISTEN TO POWER BALLADS

WATCH “THE MISSING”

WATCH “LA PAZ”

WATCH “WHAT IT’S WORTH”

WATCH “NOTHING LIKE THE NIGHT”

WATCH “CRY”

On the heels of his breakout year, Swiss indie rocker Sam Himself – New Yorker by choice,  Fondue Western baritone by trade – prepares to release his debut album, Power Ballads (October 8th). The Brooklyn-based songwriter, performer, and multi-instrumentalist has been sounding the bell for his first LP with a number of singles, most recently “La Paz” and “What Its Worth” which premiered via Under The Radar Magazine and was picked up by KCRWs Morning Becomes Eclectic and KEXPs The Morning Show, among others: as of September 2021, three out of four album singles remain on public and commercial rotation in Germany, France, Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe and the US.

Sam Himself’s full-length debut follows last year’s acclaimed EP Slow Drugs, the artist’s third, which – in addition to the international press, radio airplay, numerous DSP editorial features, and critical praise for the accompanying music videos – earned him the Swiss National Broadcasting Service’s Best Talent Award in 2020 and, in early 2021, a nomination for a Swiss Music Award, the most prestigious national prize of its kind in Sam’s home country.

Power Ballads marks the latest collaboration between Sam and his longtime producer, mixing engineer, and Second Beatle’ Daniel Schlett (The War On Drugs; Iggy Pop), as well as mastering legend Greg Calbi (Bruce Springsteen; David Bowie).

Early last year, Switzerland’s King of Tears Sam Himself was in Europe kicking off his spring tour when the pandemic foiled all live music plans – and Sam’s planned return to Brooklyn, NY, his chosen home of the past decade. Dangerously low on socks, musical equipment, and any real sense of when he’d be able to get back to the United States, Sam ended up staying in his native Switzerland for the remainder of 2020. The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, exiled at home, spent those months in limbo writing and recording what would become his debut album, Power Balladswherever he could (including the attic of his mom’s house). When he made it back to New York in early 2021, Sam (after a period of self-quarantine) went straight to producer Daniel Schlett’s Strange Weather Studio in Brooklyn to finalize his new material, building on the recordings he had originally prepared as demos for his album.

Two songs on Power Ballads once again feature Sam’s Slow Drugs bandmates Josh Werner (bass – Ghostface Killah; CocoRosie) and Parker Kindred (drums – Jeff Buckley; Elliott Smith), among them the LP’s focus track The Missing. The work of Benjamin Noti (guitar – Steff La Cheffe) and Georg Dillier (bass – Anna Rossinelli), both members of Sam’s touring band, can also be heard on several tracks.

Beyond their contributions, however, Sam plays most of the instruments on Power Ballads himself, with producer Schlett adding sounds, textures and of course his singular mixing style (as heard recently e.g. on Iggy Pop’s cover of The Velvet Underground’s European Son). This reduced lineup, a consequence of the new practical realities of the pandemic, imbues Power Ballads with a sense of intimacy and artistic autonomy. Synths and programmed drums form the core of most of the album’s by turns minimalist and grand arrangements, while Sam’s signature baritone voice quite literally reaches new heights. Over the course of ten tracks, the artist grapples with the sources and limits of personal power – how much of it is taken for granted; what remains once it’s stripped away – unflinchingly honest and defiantly optimistic on his most vulnerable, most confident work to date.

Sam Himself is set to tour in support of his debut album well into the spring of next year, with some 30+ European dates in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and beyond (US-dates in planning).

As featured by SPIN MagazineUnder The RadarKEXPKCRWDanger Mouse JukeboxThe Wild HoneypieAmerican SongwriterThe Philadelphia GlobeConsequence of SoundVariance MagazineSwiss National Radiotelevision SRFDIFFUS Magazin (GE), and many more.

For more information about Sam Himself, visit his website or connect with him on social media @samhimself.

“Born in Switzerland and bred in Gotham, Sam Himself has won accolades in his homeland but has aspirations to conquer the world.”  SPIN Magazine

“Sam Himself uses a vocal power somewhere between Matt Berninger and San Fermins Allen Tate to sing songs of finding your place.”Consequence Of Sound

 “Smokey vocals, wistful reverie.”  Under The Radar

“His deep, rich vocals remind us of the beauty that exists even during the darkest times.”  The Wild Honey Pie

“Switzerlands King of Tears.”Victoria Turrian, Radio T vision Suisse

image from Tamara Simons for use by 360 Magazine

SAM HIMSELF — “WHAT IT’S WORTH”

“Sam Himself uses his vocal power to sing songs of finding your place.”Consequence Of Sound

“His deep, rich vocals remind us of the beauty that exists even during the darkest times.”The Wild Honey Pie

“The King of Tears.”Victoria Turrian, Radio Television Suisse

“Sam Himself’s baritone vocal provides a cool sensuality reminiscent of The National’s Matt Berninger combined with the soaring instrumentation of Future Islands.”Ears To Feed

The 2021 Swiss Music Awards nominee, Sam Himself’s, latest release is the third single leading up to his debut LP, Power Ballads, (due out in October) following album singles “Nothing Like the Nightand “Cry.” The new single, “What It’s Worth,” premiered exclusively with Under The Radar Magazine.

Sam’s latest single is the swan song to a past relationship that crumbled in the wake of his father’s death. This reckoning with the past was inspired by the Swiss-born artist’s unexpected homecoming in early 2020 after a decade of living in Brooklyn, NY:

“My own history caught up with me during my time back in Switzerland. That’s where I grew up, and living there again brought back a lot of memories; home doesn’t forget… One ghost I kept running into was that of an old relationship that fell apart when I lost my dad a few years ago. My hometown is the place where all of that happened, his death and all its casualties, and “What It’s Worth is about one of them.”

You can listen to “What It’s Worth” HERE. You can watch the accompanying lyric video HERE.

When the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill early last year, Sam had just embarked on tour in Europe. Suddenly unable to return to his adopted home in New York City, Sam set up shop in his native Basel, Switzerland. At various locations including his mom’s attic, Sam spent the lockdown writing the ten new songs on his upcoming debut LP, Power Ballads. He finished recording the album as soon as he was able to return to NYC this past January, together with his longtime Second Beatle, producer and mixing engineer Daniel Schlett (The War on Drugs; Amen Dunes). The pair had most recently collaborated on Sam’s acclaimed 2020 EP Slow Drugs, which featured drummer Parker Kindred (Jeff Buckley; Elliott Smith) as well as bassist Josh Werner (Ghostface Killah; Iggy Pop), and earned Sam Himself the Swiss National Radio’s prestigious Best Talent Award that same year. You can watch the music video for the album’s title song, “Slow Drugs,” HERE.

Sam’s upcoming full-length debut was mastered by Greg Calbi (David Bowie; Bruce Springsteen) and will be supported by extensive touring this fall through winter 2022 in Switzerland, Germany, and beyond.

LYRICS TO “WHAT IT’S WORTH”:

I’m back where we broke

A lifetime ago

My clock’s still stuck right where it froze

The night your trail went cold

With a head full of ghosts

No one else close

Scared to the bone

With no one else to run from

All that’s buried here

I carry it everywhere

My arms too weak to keep an even pulse

Still I can’t stop holding on

With a head full of ghosts

No one else close

Scared to the bone

With no one else to run from

Heart full of holes

For what it’s worth

I couldn’t love you more

I came to take your place

And be the one who left that day

With both hands throwing ash into the flame

Like I don’t know it’s way too late

With a head full of ghosts

No one else close

Scared to the bone

With no one else to run from

Heart full of holes

For what it’s worth

I never loved you more

Nothing Like the Night Artwork via Stefan Tshumi for Big Hassle Media for use by 360 Magazine

Sam Himself – Nothing Like the Night

With “Nothing Like the Night,” alt-indie rocker Sam Himself presents the second single off his upcoming debut album, Power Ballads, due out in October.

The self-declared Fondue Western baritone was on tour in Europe at the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020. Unable to return to New York City, his chosen home of the past decade, Sam set up shop in his native Basel, Switzerland, where he wrote and recorded most of the ten tracks on his full-length debut during lockdown. “Nothing Like the Night” reflects the claustrophobia, pressure, and uncertainty of that time and deals with the temptation to surrender to the proverbial night of those days, according to Sam:

“My worst habits grew a lot stronger in the loneliness of the early pandemic. I felt pretty lost and uprooted, exiled without a witness to caution me against self-destructive behaviors that felt like coping mechanisms at the time. ‘Nothing Like the Night’ is about ways of escaping yourself and losing control when you suddenly have a perfect alibi for self-indulgence: the end of the world as you know it.”

For the music video, Sam once again joined forces with his trusted collaborator Stefan Tschumi, the director, and editor of “Like a Friend,” “Slow Drugs,” “Maybe Allison,” and “Cry.” The video juxtaposes a fully branded Sam trying to pitch his product to his audience against an equally Sam-branded alter ego on a mission to sell the artist on his own demons. Dialing up the beautifully weird aesthetic that has become a hallmark of his music videos, it boasts a line of bespoke Sam Himself Swiss dairy products, Sam-brand clothes, and no less than five poodles. The video’s over-the-top symbolism, toying with rock’n’roll clich and absurdist humor, were informed in part by the artist’s experience with his own growing exposure:

“I appreciate how directly and immediately I can speak to my audience and vice versa; I can’t imagine what the past year would have been like in a pre-digital world. But for all the blessings of all the ways I can share the things I make, I realized that the relentless self-promotion artists are expected to engage in can take on a life of its own; if you’re not careful, all that stuff can cost you a lot of focus or, in my case, make you lose your mind a little bit.”

Sam recorded most of his new song (which follows the album’s first single, “Cry”) in Switzerland, at various locations ranging from a studio he gradually built out during the pandemic to the attic of his mom’s house in Basel. When he was finally able to return to New York in early 2021, Sam finished recording the single and album together with his longtime producer, mixing engineer and Second Beatle Daniel Schlett (Iggy Pop; The War on Drugs) at Strange Weather Studio in Brooklyn. The song was mastered by Greg Calbi (David Bowie; Bruce Springsteen), the engineer behind all the tracks on Sam’s upcoming debut LP as well as last year’s acclaimed EP Slow Drugs (2020), which – in addition to the international press, radio airplay, multiple DSP editorial features plus six figure view counts for the accompanying music videos, earned Sam Himself a Swiss Music Award nomination in his home country in early 2021, the most prestigious national prize of its kind.