Almost two years since the release of Sam’s critically acclaimed debut album Hypersonic Missiles debuted at number 1 in the UK album chart, Sam now readies its follow up.
Seventeen Going Under finds Sam turning the mirror on himself; his adolescence and the trials and tribulations of growing up. It’s a relatable journey that careers through an often misspent youth, navigating tumultuous relationships with both friends and family, and trying to figure out what comes next and how to get there. North Shields is the ever-present backdrop for these deeply personal vignettes of a young life travelling breathlessly from nought to sixty, hauling on the brakes and zipping back again from where he started.
Over the course of the record, these stunning songs chronicle all the cherished memories, tricky encounters, and events that Sam cannot unsee. It’s the story of a young teen losing not only his innocence, but then finding strength to stagger blindly into adulthood and all that entails. The first track, the album’s title track, condenses that narrative into a few minutes of chest-thumping, heart-swelling pride. Seventeen is a classic age that has resonated and inspired songwriters for years, and Seventeen Going Under can be added to that cannon. It’s an emphatic, soaring guitar song that collates the struggles of unemployed life, but also the daftness of age where you otherwise have little to fear and the world at your feet. It’s an explosive return.
Whilst Seventeen Going Under is a more intensely personal record than Hypersonic Missiles, it’s lost none of Sam’s acute sense of observation. It’s a brave record. A defiant record. A celebratory record and an inspiring one too. Like only truly great songwriters can, Sam turns his own experience into art that speaks to, and resonates with all of us. These are simple but stunning songs that arrow straight to, and straight from, the heart.
A1 Seventeen Going Under
A2 Getting Started
A4 Get You Down
A5 Long Way Off
A6 Spit Of You
B1 Last To Make It Home
B2 The Leveller
B5 The Dying Light