SONG PREMIERE: Sam Himself Shares Soaring, Emotionally Impactful Ballad “Cry”

“On the heels of his spring EP Slow Drugs, Swiss Brooklyn-based artist Sam Himself offers the first glimpse at his debut album, due out in 2021, with his anthemic new single, “Cry”.

The indie-rocker was on tour in Europe when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out earlier this year. After only one show, all remaining dates were canceled due to the virus and Sam suddenly found himself stranded between his native Switzerland and his chosen home of New York City. Unsure if and when he’d be able to return to the United States, Sam self-quarantined at an Airbnb in his hometown Basel, Switzerland, and went ahead with the scheduled release of his long-awaited EP Slow Drugs. The five-track piece, now out on limited edition vinyl via Taxi Gauche Records, was well-received on both sides of the Atlantic and promptly earned Sam the prestigious Best Talent Award by the Swiss National Broadcasting Service. Several songs off the EP garnered editorial playlist features on Apple Music and Spotify, and continue to be on rotation in Switzerland and other parts of Europe, as well as several US college stations. The music videos for singles “Slow Drugs” and “Like a Friend” have garnered several hundred thousand views on Vevo to date.

Holed up at his quarantine rental this past spring, Sam started writing new material with the limited equipment he’d brought on the tour that never was. The resulting batch of songs forms the framework of his upcoming debut album and includes “Cry,” and today Glide is excited to premiere the new single. The song finds Sam collaborating with his longtime producer, creative partner and “Second Beatle” Daniel Schlett (DIIV; The War on Drugs; Amen Dunes), who also mixed the song remotely at Sam’s musical home base, Strange Weather Studio in Brooklyn. The result is a soaring ballad that showcases Sam’s sultry baritone while evolving from a sparse, mostly acoustic arrangement into a lush and sweeping hymn. You can hear similarities to acts like The National and Interpol but with a softer, brooding New Wave sound that elevates the lyrics and adds to the emotional levity of Sam’s voice. 

Sam describes the inspiration and process behind the song:

“I was driving across Switzerland before dawn to shoot the final takes of the video for ‘Like a Friend’; I’d been up for a long time, the tour had just been canceled and, according to the news, I wouldn’t be able to fly back to New York anytime soon. Then my phone rang and at the end of that call, the relationship I was in had ended, too. In a matter of hours, my life as I’d known it was over. For all the dread and confusion of that moment, I also felt ridiculous for licking my own wounds while the world around me looked like it was ending. That’s the dissonant state I tried to capture with ‘Cry’: it’s a farewell letter to my old life in New York and a relationship ended by the pandemic, but also a caustic reminder to myself not to wallow in self- pity amid a global catastrophe.”


Photo credit: Stefan Tschumi

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