28 Nov 2022

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

Sam Bambery - Album Review: Songs About Sailors

31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

One of the real delights in discovering so much NZ music is most of the artists I am asked to review I know nothing about beforehand, so each piece of music is a total surprise and I have no preconceived opinions ahead of time. I also never read press releases until I have played the album/single, so I approach the music very clean. When I heard this for the first time I just sat there with a smile on my face as right from opener Waiting I knew I was in for a good time. This is the debut album from Otautahi-based guitarist and singer, Sam Bambery, who worked with De Stevens (Marlin’s Dreaming, Asta Rangu) and a host of local musicians to create something which reflects his interests in alt-country, traditional folk and no-nonsense indie rock.

He cites quite a few influences in his music, including Wilco, Elliot Smith, Aldous Harding, Cut Worms, Marlon Williams, Adam Hattaway and Delaney Davidson and he is all these things, plus some of his guitar sounds are classic Johnny Cash, but he is very much his own man as well. Country is the pervasive genre throughout the album, but very much from the alternative side, so while it may have that country feel it does not have the swagger and laid-back feel but instead is often more direct and in your face with the indie vibe also very much in play. One of the delights of the album is although there is a strong style throughout, all the songs are very different indeed. Take Over and Out for example, where for the first half of the song it is just him and a strummed electric which is way more folk in feel, then we get that crunching overdrive guitar just for a few notes, totally changing the feel and effect. It is an incredibly dynamic number, full of contrast, with the band dropping in and out, full of passion and power.

The title cut is much more in a traditional country style, where he allows himself to sing with real warmth in his voice, playing an acoustic and some nice steel nuances here and there. I would not have guessed from the title that this album would have such a country influence, as that is often thought of as being related to cowboys and therefore the land, but even when he is singing about the sea it all makes perfect sense. This is a thoroughly enjoyable release, and those who like country, but with more variety and edge thrown in than may often be the case, will find this a real joy and well worth discovering.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Sam Bambery

Otautahi based songwriter Sam Bambery sits at the intersection between deep-hearted folk and edgy, thoughtful indie rock. His songs take the often introspective and personal road, championing both the heartbroken pessimist and the gleeful showman that dwells within him.

Having cut his teeth in the Garden City’s wide music scene, Bambery brings an assortment of influences to his work including Wilco, Steve Gunn, Sharon Van Etten. His band, The Sucrose Kids, is an ever-evolving arrangement of local musicians that approach his folksy, exploratory songs with a modern, artistic sensibility.

Having recorded alongside De Stevens (Marlin’s Dreaming, Asta Rangu), Sam Bambery aims to release his debut album Songs About Sailors on the 24th of March 2022.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Sam Bambery


Songs About Sailors
Year: 2022
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Lazy Fifty @ Paraoa Brewing, Whangaparaoa - 24/11/2022
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
For my only gig this week, not only am I out on a school night, but I have struggled all the way from South Auckland up to Whangaparaoa, and I must admit it has been years since I have been here. Tonight, Australian trio 19-Twenty are in town, but to be honest I am here for the support band, Lazy Fifty whose last album, 2021: A Lazy Odyssey, I reviewed a year ago.
Reuben Hudson - EP Review: Cloudhead
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This five-track EP is the latest release from Melbourne-based, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland, New Zealand) multi-instrumentalist and songwriter/producer, Reuben Hudson. Featuring David Harris on drums (Princess Chelsea), mixed by Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) and mastered by James Goldsmith (Mermaidens), everything else was played and performed by Reuben himself.
Brian Baker - Single Review: I Won't Back Down
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Although Tom Petty was a massive success in the States, he never saw anything like the same in the UK until he partnered with Jeff Lynne and together, they came up with the masterpiece which is Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and had it on repeat the year I started dating my now wife, and any song from that album always makes me think of 1989, where I was, with no idea my life would be changing dramatically (and for the better).
Bad Jelly Collective - Single Review: Paradigms
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest release from Bad Jelly Collective, which comprises Ben Clark (vocals, guitar, production) and Dave Weir (bass). It is lengthy for a single, being 5:36, but that is due to the large amount of repetition contained within and the very slow build which takes place.
The RVMES - Album Review: Simple Things
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Before I started writing this I went back to my review for the guys’ last album, Lifetime, and part of me thought about copying it pretty much word for word and see if anyone noticed, as I spoke at length as to how many genres they were covering, and we have the same here, possibly more so. Most bands choose a genre, possibly going into a related area as well, and pretty much stay there.
Christine White - Album Review: Raven
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This multi-media project commenced in March 2020, and more than 2 ½ years later the release had come together with five songs (one of which is a remix of the opening title cut by electronic producer Paddy Free, so there are six tracks). These are accompanied by three music videos, and a book of short haiku-style poetry in two languages (English & Farsi), and there is no doubt that this has gained quite a deal of media interest, so yesterday I found myself listening to a very interesting interview with Christine White on RNZ.
Album Review: Goodnight My Darling
22 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
If it hadn’t been for an unfortunate clash with an event I had to attend, I would have been at Whammy a few weeks back to hear Goodnight My Darling, (Maxine Macaulay), and now I have listened to her debut album I so wish I had been able to make it. Still, at least this is now available so those of us who were unable to make it to the tour (last two dates this coming weekend in Wellington and Kapiti) can enjoy this relaxed pleasant romp through different elements of soft pop rock, singer songwriter and shoegaze.
Whero - Single Review: Easy
21 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There are times when one hears a voice and it feels as if you are being held warm and safe, and that is definitely the case here with Whero, who recently released her debut single. If she has not recorded under this name before, I am sure she must have recorded with others, while this has all the hallmarks of someone who has undertaken a lot of live work.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
    Taylor Swift
    Meghan Trainor
    Drake And 21 Savage
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
    Oliver Tree And Robin Schulz
    Chris Brown
  • 685 (REMIX)
    Victor J Sefo, Lisi And Mwayz
    venbee And goddard.
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