Release Date: Out Now
Cornish born but Bristol based Sam Animal created a mini-storm with the racy artwork for this debut album ‘Powers’ so had a create a safe version (see below) for the prudes over at Facebook which all feels a little over the top all things considered. Artwork aside, Sam Animal has created a bold piece of work for his debut offering with a number of different styles, directions and textures all brought in to the mix across this fourteen-track collection.
Proceedings get underway with ‘Another Madness’, a laidback track with a satisfying low-slung guitar groove and slathered keys providing a bed for Sam Animal’s voice to spread out on. Next up is ‘Lurch’ (possibly an ode to the Addams family butler) which has a Jake Bugg vibe about the chugging guitar, rattling drums and understated vocals with an uplifting spirit to the chorus. ‘Medicine’ moves in to a jerky, quirky, Young Knives area with lyrics about Peruvian flu sung by a voice that is hugely expressive in a way that Ian Dury and Jaz Delorean did so well with.
This album is a real tour-de-force of a songwriter stretching his legs for the first time and that is never more evident than on ‘Glass Hero’ which finds Animal emulating Jeff Buckley with strained, tortured vocals and brooding guitars suddenly giving way to an urgent and funky chorus. ‘Cocaine’ starts with a hesitant guitar line before settling in to an unlikely indie-pop love song with a sentiment that is essentially ‘I don’t need class A drugs because your ass is so fine’ – what woman (or man) could resist that as a chat up line? On ‘Tiger’ something shifts in the energy which takes us to a point were Jamie T, Jamie Yost and Ben Howard meet on a song that ripples and undulates with organic energy but also has an urban power to it.
|Sam Animal - Powers (for prudes)|
The groove on ‘Noble Steed’ is deep and heavily blues influenced and ‘Come Get Me’ continues that theme with some wonderfully raw guitar playing in a 12 bar structure for the soulful vocals to weave in and out of like Hozier in full flow. The jam continues on ‘Sugar’ but this time it’s in a more chilled acoustic sense which befits Animal’s Cornish upbringing as you can hear the seagulls and wash of the sea between each tight chord. The soul in the vocals on ‘Volcano’ befit the sheer swell of natural energy you get with a volcano itself but this falls in to the realms of Jake Morley’s material for it’s honesty, beauty and lyrical ingenuity.
‘Memento-Mori’ finds that blues inspired groove again with thundering guitars demanding your attention while ‘Brass Knuckles’ jerks, rattles and rolls like Queens of the Stone Age playing in one of your nightmares when you turn up to a gig naked. Heading in to the final straight, we are treated to ‘Flatland’; a song full of sadness, hope and a refreshing honesty laid out atop a sparse guitar melody and vocal harmonies. And then, for the final encore, we have ‘Olive’ which emerges from splashing cymbals with a slinky bass melody for Animal to return to that Buckley oeuvre with late-night, Jazz inspired vocals. Sam Animal is a genuinely captivating, intriguing and engaging singer-songwriter who has seemingly appeared from nowhere with an album
10th March – Gylly Beach Café, Falmouth