22 May 2022

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Sam V - Single Review: Up Up Down

10 Nov 2020 // A review by Jamie Denton

Earlier this month, Auckland-based hip-hop/R&B artist Sam V dropped his latest single entitled Up Up Down. Continuing his productive and prolific collaboration with producer EDY, Up Up Down retains many of the stylistic qualities and signature sound that was established in Sam V’s previous outputs.

Kicking off with a choppy/glitchy intro, which I must admit took me a few listens to actually start to enjoy in its own right, Up Up Down is a track that simply oozes with a hot Summer day slowly melting into a carefree, endless summer night vibe. It’s the kind of track that is thrown on in the post-surf chill out, or over the BBQ and a few beers before an epic night.

Up Up Down’s instrumentation strongly adheres to a minimalist approach, where the whole is so much more than simply the sum of the individual parts. Rhythmically, the track is largely propelled by near-earthquake inducing bass and crisp, crystal-clear clicks and claps, while momentum towards the hook/chorus is developed by the patient, carefully applied swelling of deep synth chords and the hook/chorus itself is kept interesting via a liberal peppering of swirling, multil-ayered synth lines.

Against this sonic backdrop, Sam V’s vocals are framed perfectly. Production-wise, there is a nice degree of separation between the vocals and the instrumentation, with the vocals sitting well in the mix throughout. Left largely clean throughout the verse sections, the subtle (yet audible) use of a type of vocoder/autotune-effect in the chorus provides a beautifully strange effect and provides a nice differentiation between the two sections (which can be difficult with largely the same voice doing the duty of holding both sections down). I really can’t fault the overall sound; it is slick but not overproduced. It doesn’t rely on heavy sampling to keep the listener interested, rather relying on good, solid songwriting.

With specific regards to the vocal delivery, there is something in Sam V’s vocal style and flow that reminds me of US-R&B artists such as Craig David, but not in a derivative way. In fact, I do not mean any disrespect by that comment at all. Rather, I think it’s more that they (Sam V and Craig David-esque artists) possess a natural effortlessness to their vocal approach, a real ear for crafting and delivering hooky vocal melodies and lines, and are blessed with vocals that drip with honey.

Up Up Down is a solid release, slotting into Sam V’s previous work cohesively while also demonstrating development in his writing and performing and serves as a hint towards big things to come.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Sam V

Sam V makes music and stuff (normally they call it R&B but not always).

He's lightskin.

* 22 Years old

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Sam V


Year: 2020
Type: Album

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