Chicago – Best New Bands has discovered a musician extra-worthy of your time and attention: Sam Himself. The New York based singer-songwriter has a powerful, signature baritone, that pairs well with his modern take on Americana. We are proud to debut his new single “Anywhere You Run,” from his fabulous upcoming debut album Songs In D. While Sam Himself actually has a vocal partner in “Anywhere You Run” – Lynn Thu Tun – about halfway through the song, Sam Himself’s guitar briefly becomes his duet partner. It’s haunting, yet lovely, with a Southern blues feel.
“Anywhere You Run” tells the hardened tale of “losing someone very important to you; a foundational person in your life.” Sam Himself describes the song as “that moment in between knowing that they’re gone and that fear arising” as you come to terms with death. This heart wrenching number is “about loss, it’s about grief, and it’s for anyone who has ever lost someone.”
Sam Himself once called Switzerland home, but his love for American music, from soul, blues, rock and roll to country, brought him to the inspiring Big Apple, in 2010. There he developed his own brand of eclectic Americana, rooted in guitar-based compositions. Sam Himself told Best New Bands he was ready to leave home, and though he loves Switzerland, when it comes to bands and the music scene, “there’s definitely a glass-ceiling in all things cultural.” While he admits that is “changing up,” it seemed his best bet was to cross the Atlantic.
Sam Himself started out performing in several different bands, focused on various genres, but after being in New York awhile, he started performing solo “out of necessity,” as scheduling conflicts and egos often got in the way of what really mattered: making music. In April, Sam Himself unveiled his first single “Boatman’s Song.” It’s a sweet, melodic tune, filled with weighty lyrics, tackling the refugee crisis in Europe. Sam Himself spoke with Georgie Magazine about the “Boatman’s Song,” saying:
Last summer, I went to the beach in Italy. Around that time, news and images of the escalating refugee crisis started pouring in. The people in those photos arrived on beaches like the one I went to, though while I was on vacation, they were trapped in a nightmare. Out of despair, they had risked and, in many cases, lost everything. But instead of empathy, they were met with distrust and bigotry by some. That’s the experience I wanted to write about: the overwhelming sense of injustice when, after sacrificing all you have, you’re vilified for trying to save yourself.
It was indeed a bold and powerful statement to make with a debut single, but it’s also a sign of strength in Sam Himself. His confidence seeps through his music and throughout Songs In D, proving Sam Himself was on the mark in going solo.
However, Sam Himself has found a team of talented musicians he enjoys working with on occasion, and happily confesses he is in “the luckiest place in terms of collaboration.” In November, Sam Himself began making Songs In D, in Brooklyn with producer Daniel Schlett, at Thump Studio and Strange Weather Studio. During the recording process, Sam Himself worked with two different drummers, saxophone and cello players, and five singers, including Teeny and Lizzie of TEEN. Sam Himself is surrounded by an enriching community of musicians, who amplify his guitar playing and his magical voice, which is comparable to the legendary Tom Waits… aptly so as Sam Himself is talented enough to be the next legend in the making!
Follow Sam Himself on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and be sure to follow Best New Bands on Facebook and Twitter, too.
After attending The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Sarah went on to study education at Dominican University, earning a degree in history. When not teaching, writing, or taking in a show, she is most likely to be found with a camera to her eye or hanging out in a darkroom.
You can follow Sarah Hess on twitter at @Sarahhasanh and view her music photography on her website: smhimaging.com.