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Sam & Me The Battle of Hemsby Akoustik Anarkhy Recordings
Article written by
Ged M - Aug 28, 2009
Sam and Me: The Battle of Hemsby
Hemsby is a small seaside resort in Norfolk, best-known for its slot machines and rock’n’roll weekends. There doesn’t seem to have been a battle there since the Vikings and the music of Sam and Me certainly wouldn’t have soundtracked any belligerence. Quite the opposite; this is a dreamy sort of melodic pop that puts you in mind of Badly Drawn Boy and Simon and Garfunkel, full of acoustic guitars, tinkling pianos and harmonies. In fact, Hemsby is the location for songwriting sojourns by Sam and Me: Sam Zindel and Rowan Dawes, who are joined on this album by Mitchell Johnson and Dan Black. And their songs – which feel a bit like holiday postcards, each summarising another adventure - seem to have absorbed something of Hemsby’s character: occasionally bright and chirpy ('Sonic Boomerang') with lyrical humour (references to Bangkok ladyboys, R2D2, and Turkish football violence) as well as more reflective, with 'If I Fall, Can I?' having a widescreen soundtracky feel that sounds as broad as the coastal horizon. Lyrics can be a little too inward-facing, as on the solipsistic ‘London’ which bemoans the pressure on a songwriter, but they capture the mood just right on the blissful ‘Hopscotch’ that ends the album. A bit insubstantial like candyfloss but sweet while it lasts. The first 500 charmingly come with a free holiday polaroid too!