5 Mar 2024
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Sam Bartells - Single Review: Bring You Down

17 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Sam Bartells is back with his new single Bring You Down, which finds him taking quite a different approach to Where We'll Go, which also featured Mema Wilda. Whereas he normally sits quite happily within alt country, here we see him using that as a base and then moving in a much rockier direction. The acoustic guitar and gentle keyboard introduction give no indication as to what is going happen, but it is almost as if he said to drummer Adam Tobeck (Outside In) “When we get 20 seconds in then go nuts”, so he did. Bassist Maia Huia is the constant throughout the song, keeping it grounded, while electric guitarist Mitch French moves between picking notes and hitting hard chords.

Sam says it is a “song about the struggles of trying to stay positive through the challenges of everyday life, and how important it is to do that. Being a good person to be around, and not wanting to cast a shadow of negativity around the people you care about.” The song twists and changes throughout, becoming far more dramatic and powerful as it progresses, and there is no doubt that violinist Shimna Higgins has a major part to play in that. She starts sweetly and gently, but as we get further into the song, she uses distortion and wah wah pedal to turn her violin into a powering rock instrument as opposed to something there just for additional colour. Produced by the ineffable David Rhodes, he has captured Sam in a much heavier direction than I would have expected. The result is a song which makes a huge statement, and one can only wonder if this is a springboard into a different musical direction from where Sam has previously been operating.

Here we have Sam at the helm of a rock band who are mixing genres and styles to make something incredibly dynamic and powerful. There is plenty of contrast, yet he is always in firm control, and this melting pot is very special indeed.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

Releases

Let's Go
Year: 2020
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Crushfest @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 07/07/2023
07 Jul 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was down to Tuning Fork for the first night of the second Crushfest festival. Tonight was going to be Wellington and Auckland bands, and then some of the same will be playing at the second night in Wellington next month.
Read More...
Rain - Single Review: Love and War
15 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since I last heard from Wellington-based singer songwriter Cathy Elizabeth, and back then Rain was seen solely as a studio project with Cathy being accompanied by Thomas Te Taite, who provided all the instrumentation including digital drums. Now they are a full band who have been performing live, and it is the first time they have recorded as such, with Thomas now, just providing acoustic guitar (plus engineering and producing etc.
Read More...
Lost Vessels - Single Review: All This Time
01 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I must admit I was not that impressed when I first saw Lost Vessels play at Crushfest, something they later admitted to me was the worst gig of their career, but since then they have improved in leaps and bounds. This has been noticed by others on the Auckland circuit as they are getting more opportunities with better support slots, and I was not at all surprised when they won the Ding Dong Lounge Battle Of The Bands in November last year.
Read More...
Unwanted Subject - Single Review: Sons of Savages
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I have caught Unwanted Subject in concert a few times over the last couple of years, and while they have been getting better each time I have seen them, I must admit that nothing prepared me for this, which right from the off is a monster. I have never heard them quite this is aggressive, nor as polished, and this multi-sectioned single sounds almost like a different band as they have pushed their metal roots to the max in this metalcore beast which sees them mixing and blending different genres to create something quite special.
Read More...
Gig Review: Stray Dogs @ AUX, Auckland - 26/05/2023
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was back to Ding Dong Lounge on a Friday night for one of their infamous Emo nights, which tonight was a three-band bill with Stray Dogs having an extended set, supported by Altaea and then up first we had Blindr, a band new to me. Blindr are a quartet featuring Bill Caldwell (vocals, guitar), Blake Woodfield (lead guitar), Jack Power (bass), and Charlie McCracken (drums).
Read More...
Gig Review: Turkey The Bird @ The Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 27/05/2023
27 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Back up to Auckland Guide Centre in Mount Eden tonight for my second consecutive gig (Sol suggested it was a turkey sandwich as I am at Vader tomorrow) to see Taranaki’s finest, Turkey The Bird at The Ministry of Folk. Before that we of course had Hoop, who are Al Baxter (vocals, guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin), Nick Edgar (vocals, guitar, ukulele, flute, harmonica), Emily Allen (violin, viola), Glenn Coldham (bass) while tonight Gary Hunt was filling in for drummer Rusty Knox.
Read More...
This Silent Divide - Single Review: Beautiful Creature
25 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based melodic hard rock quartet This Silent Divide, entitled Beautiful Creature. I really enjoyed their Tall Stories EP, and they played a great gig at Dead Witch towards the end of last year, and this would have been recorded at about the same time.
Read More...
Gig Review: Emily Rice @ Your Local Coffee Roasters, Pukekohe - 24/05/2023
24 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Earlier this week I had a message from Emily Rice asking me if I lived in South Auckland. When I responded I did, she asked if I would be interested in coming along to an event she was putting on in a coffee shop in Pukekohe to celebrate the release of her new single, Warenoa.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • TEXAS HOLD 'EM
    Beyonce
  • PRAISE JAH IN THE MOONLIGHT
    YG Marley
  • BEAUTIFUL THINGS
    Benson Boone
  • LOSE CONTROL
    Teddy Swims
  • SATURN
    SZA
  • STICK SEASON
    Noah Kahan
  • LOVIN ON ME
    Jack Harlow
  • CRUEL SUMMER
    Taylor Swift
  • END OF BEGINNING
    Djo
  • CARNIVAL
    Kanye West And Ty Dolla $ign
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem