Friday, June 17, 2016

Listen/Watch: Sam Evian - "Sleep Easy"

I remember the exact moment when I took notice of Sam Owens as an artist in his own right. A member of experimental rock trio Celestial Shore, it was while watching the making of video for the trio's Shaking Through session for "Die For Us" featuring Lorely Rodriguez of Empress Of that the extent of what Celestial Shore and by extension what Sam Owens was about really clicked for me. "I think...I think Sam Owens might be some sort of quiet genius" I whispered to myself as I listened to Owens wax poetic about recording studios and the like in an interview segment for the Shaking Though video. There wasn't anything particularly groundbreaking about what he was saying really, just Owens' deep reverence for the studio which he's been hanging around in since he was a child struck a chord with me while paired with the complicated sounding music he strives to make. The possibilities seemed limitless and I sort of absentmindedly wondered what kind of music Owens would/could make in his own right.

Luckily that question was a question that eventually found an answer. After Celestial Shore released their sophomore full length record Enter Ghost on Hometapes back in 2014, the band went on a bit of a hiatus and a bunch of solo shows featuring Owens started popping up where he went by the name Sam Evian. I missed absolutely all of them and there wasn't any recorded output I feared I'd never know what the act sounded like (sort of actually attending a show). Until now.

"Sleep Easy" is the first single from Owens' forthcoming debut release under the Sam Evian moniker. Written just prior to having to play his first show, "Sleep Easy" is a delightful introduction to Sam Owens' studio musician dreams; a slice of retro-inspired guitar pop that captures Owens vocals - plaintive and delicate in a wholly different context than the mathy rhythmic contortions of his main band. On "Sleep Easy", it's less about the juxtaposition of timbre with ambitious creative intent and more an exploration of Owens' musical roots and influences easily fitting into the 60s reminiscent singer/songwriter style whose resurgence is being aided by artists/bands like Andy Shauf and Whitney. "Sleep Easy" is a breezy pop rock jam arranged with a sort of effortless ease that belies the quickness of its composition and makes the listener clamor for me. Hopefully it's not too long before Owens lets us take another swig of Sam Evian.

Sam Evian's debut full length Premium will be out later this year on Saddle Creek but you can now pre-order the "Sleep Easy" 7" which comes bundled with non-album track "You Have to Hydrate" now.

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