10 Aug 2022

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

Samantha Josephine - Album Review: The Finished Touch

19 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

This is a direct continuation of the work displayed by Samantha on the Fly Bird Fly EP which came out a few months ago, except this time around she has managed to secure the services of drummers Mars Slater Vitai and Olive Konai, who between them share the duties on this 16-track 39-minute-long album. They fit in well with the ethos and spirit of Samantha, not attempting to bring in any finesse of polish, but instead keeping to the very lo-fi and naïve approach demonstrated by the singer/guitarist. When I reviewed the EP, I said it felt as if here was an introvert baring her soul and struggling with the need to put her art out there against the fear of being judged for it. Musically she comes over as a cross between Wesley Willis, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, and Jonathan Richman, with the awkwardness amplified and any polish and finesse buried deep.

I can imagine some people listening to this album and wondering why I am saying nice things about it, as it is diametrically opposed to the style one would hear being played on the radio, but as far as I am concerned that is a very good thing indeed. There is no bass, just a massive gap between her guitar and the drums, with her vocals over the top. There are times when she is sliding all over the note one would expect her to hit, but that is part of the appeal, as this is anti-pop, music which has a soul and honesty all its own. When I reviewed Wesley Willis’ Greatest Hits album, which was released by Alternative Tentacles all the way back in 1995 (I’ve been doing this writing thing for a while) it just blew me away, and I could not put into words why that was, except it was the opposite of everyone else was trying to achieve and that is exactly the same here.

Samantha has been working towards this album for a year now, yet when a song came to her recently, she knew she has to include it, so Chewing Gone To Sound is now the opening track, even though it was only completed a few days ago. If this were the Seventies and Samantha was in New York she would be a regular at CBGB’s, and if it were the late Seventies and she was in the UK she would be signed to Stiff Records. But it is well into the 21st century, and she is in New Zealand, so most people will ignore this and let it pass them by, which is a real shame as there is something in this album which calls to me. At times it is off key, and the guitar playing may not always be as good as one would expect, while the drumming is basic at best. The production and mixing are almost non-existent, yet this is anti-commercial album is all the better for it. If you want music from the heart, with no hidden agenda apart from ripping the artist to pieces, then this is it.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Samantha Josephine

Compared to Lou reed and Courtney Barnett, Samantha Josephine's unique sound has been assembling a group of fans from around the world to watch her perform from her living room. She has been called a style beast, with a voice, that historically speaking not a lot of females have.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Samantha Josephine


Fly Bird Fly
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Feeling In The Strange
Year: 2020
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Oliver Birch - Album Review: Burning Daylight
05 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This is the debut album from Auckland musician, Oliver Birch, although older versions of many of the songs contained within have already been made available as singles. When the album started with the lengthy keyboard chords and feedback intro I thought it would fall into krautrock, but instead it quickly changed into a psychedelic experimental art rock number with emotionally charged vocals and an outright refusal to conform to any expectations.
Album Review: Black Velvet Butterfly
03 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Black Velvet Butterfly are a one-man band from Auckland featuring James Castady-Kristament. I was intrigued to be sent this as when I looked on their Bandcamp page it said, “It may just well be the coolest thing you’ve heard in the Goth scene since Type O Negative.
Bill Angus and the Mighty Ways - Album Review: All Night Before the World Began
01 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Bill had a musical career in England before deciding to do something different, and returned to his roots when he started working in New Zealand. This is his third album.
Gig Review: Antagonist A.D. @ Galatos, Auckland - 30/07/2022
31 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Once more into the breach dear friends, as I made my way into the city for the third night in a row. I knew this was going to be the most dramatic gig of the week and was one I had been looking forward to for months.
Gig Review: Reb Fountain @ Town Hall, Auckland - 29/07/2022
30 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Back into central Auckland for the second consecutive evening, this time to see an artist for whom I have great admiration for the first time, and whose latest album, Iris, was rightfully in my Top Ten of 2021. Until last month it had been years since I had been in Auckland Town Hall for a gig, but here I was again, this time for one of the series of Auckland Elemental events, and I could see lighting gantries across much of the venue so knew we were in for quite some night.
Gig Review: Capital Theatre @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 28/07/2022
28 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Down to the Tuning Fork on a school night, whatever next?! Mind you, it was for a special occasion as Capital Theatre were back in town and it has been way too long since I last saw them play (thanks Covid).
Infinity Ritual - EP Review: Infinity Ritual
28 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from New Plymouth trio Adam Colless (guitars, vocals), Jason Karam (bass, vocals, mellotron) and Mark Thomas (drums and percussion). The four songs, 23 minutes in length, show a band who are bringing together groove metal with stoner, displaying plenty of bottom end with rich distortion.
Sea Mouse - EP Review: Evil Heart
27 Jul 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There is a time in many music lover’s lives when they finally fall into the caress of the blues. Everyone has their own genre they prefer, but the best blues is that which really calls to the listener on an emotional level, and for me that means two very different strands, and my favourite depends on what I am feeling like on any particular day.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DOJA
    Central Cee
    Steve Lacy
    Luude And Mattafix
    Cat Burns
    Kate Bush
    Doja Cat
    Harry Styles
    Post Malone And Doja Cat
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