Quimby...The Simpson’s very own mayor of Springfield, was a parody of the Kennedy’s and used his wit, charm and charisma, as well as mob back-handers, to womanise and frivolously take the piss, while laughing to himself in office. A spot of innocent animated satire if you will. Pedro, amidst lies, high-school politics, awkward humour, even more awkward dancing, sweet skills and a couple of Ligers, became class president in Napoleon Dynamite. Trump sadly, as much of a character he is...is real, believe it or not, and became actual President Of The United States, arguably one of the most powerful men in the world, despite being a tangerine-coloured perverted pensioner with a penchant for lies, pussy grabbing and grandiose shit-housery.
But I hear you ask...what has this got to do with today’s review? Well, I am poorly gerrymandering my way through this segue in preparation of introducing today’s artist; VOTEFORSAMMO. Real name Sam Hodder, the 19-year-old based out of London emailed me recently to tell me two things. Firstly, he was releasing a new EP by the name of “Cheaper Entertainment”, and secondly, GTGC was one of his favourite websites. Now, I’m not easily bought, but that was a nice thing to say. The question is, do I have anything nice to say about the EP? And will he be getting MY vote? Let’s find out...
The EP kicks off with “Is This Better Than The Last Time?” and quite frankly, I don’t know Sam, this is my first time. It opens up with some, throwback 1940’s or 1950’s family conversation, teasing at the notion of troubled youth and, as the intro piece transitions, we feel a sense of struggle. The ideology of being stuck in a rut, especially in the lower, working classes, not meaning to come off as derogatory. It’s a hoping, a wanting more out of life, wanting better opportunities outside a typically blue-collar environment, and have times really changed that much at all socially since then?
First track proper then, and lead single “Artificial Light” gives us a better idea of Sam’s creative vision and process. There’s a soft, soothing blend of urban beats with gentle acoustics and lounge jazz, carrying delicate piano notes and brass instrumentation. His lyrical delivery is a sort of mellow poetic rapping. The street lights being the only brightness in a sprawling urban depression. You could probably smoke a fat one to this. We follow this with EP highlight “Martyr” and we get a far more assertive beat, with more electric guitar and a stronger indie-rock vibe. He projects stronger vocally in places adding range to his delivery but for the most part, he remains subdued, while not completely monotone. The sax solo is a wonderful inclusion and brings a real feel-good factor to the tracks climax, despite the abrupt ending.
Next up we have “McDonalds”, and it’s like, ordering a double quarter pounder with only cheese at the drive-thru, and getting a quarter pounder with everything BUT cheese. That’s actually happened to me. Heartbroken I was. Anyway, we initially get a sweetly plucked spot of acoustic pop, which gradually picks up in tempo and tone, incorporating more of an electric-tinged dose of deeper indie, akin to the previous track, before lulling back to its originally slower pacing. It has aspects that are nice, but it’s not specifically what you were looking forward to. Very much like my burger. Finally, then, we finish up with “Reflections”; featuring additional vocals from Jemma Baines. Aside from this extra vocal dynamic, we get more of the same urban, jazzy, folky, acoustic indie style and the whole thing is very much chilled.
Now, most young lads in this age range that I know personally, are for some reason all into grime, mumble rap and all of that crud...so for this London based artist to be delving into more, maturely perceived genres such as lounge jazz and, shoe-gaze inspired indie, it's both interesting and refreshing to see. He writes, mixes and produces all of his own stuff too so, fair play to the lad. Applause where it’s due. While tracks like “Martyr” are more up my street, you can’t knock Sam for the honesty in his lyrics and his ability to create an ambience within his genre mixings. Not something I’d go out of my way to look for, but I’d rather vote for Sammo than some dickhead like Boris Johnson. A pleasant, laid-back listening experience; be sure to check this EP out when it drops on September 10th.