SINGLE REVIEW: Samh – ‘Animal’

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Samh is one of those artists who I really look forward to reviewing. His releases are like shining gems that just quietly soothe my soul, whatever style he does. The last release – ‘We Have Been Here Forever’ – was a funky thing. That came as a surprise. This has thrown me completely.

It is a song of two parts. The first is plaintive – voice and plucked guitar. It has something of an alt-folk feel to it.Being the old hippy that I am (and that’s something I have to confess to) I hear hints of Incredible String Band and Nick Drake. This part of the song is beautiful. But then it changes, it starts to build into something almost AOR-ish. His vocals change – I hear hints of Roy Harper at his most angry and Peter Gabriel – It does, but not in a screechy guitar sort of way, rock out. There is a pulsing organ. Drums pound.

It sounds as though it shouldn’t work, and I’m going to have to admit to having to listen to it more than once (actually twice) before it made complete sense to me. Part of it making sense was listening to the words. The lyrics in the two ‘parts’ suit what is happening musically.

Having got it, I love it. It makes sense. It’s clever and a really effective way of conveying the emotion, and the meaning of the song. I say emotion because this isn’t just a technical exercise in seeing whether these two feels can be melded together. Form follows function, so to speak.

Even though it has that ‘noisy part’ I still feel soothed, just in a different way. This is still a shining gem of a song, the gem I expected to hear. It’s beautiful.