Sam Evian: Plunge [Album Review]

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Sam Evian
Plunge
Flying Cloud Recordings/Thirty Tigers [2024]

Album Overview: Plunge is the fourth studio album by Sam Evian, released on his own imprint Flying Cloud Recordings in partnership with Thirty Tigers. The album was recorded during the early winter months of 2023 at Evian’s revamped Flying Cloud Studios in the Catskills. Evian, previously known as Sam Owens, has a history of producing, engineering, and hosting artists at his studio, including Big Thief and Palehound. This album marks a significant point in Evian’s career, showcasing a solid indie rock know-how sound with a fantastic timeless singer songwriter approach to these nine tracks. This album also features contributions from Evian’s close friends and collaborators, such as Liam Kazar, Sean Mullins, El Kempner of Palehound, and Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief.

Musical Style: Plunge explores a blend of power pop, rock, and indie elements. Evian’s music often features catchy melodies, infectious hooks, and a strong sense of craftsmanship in songwriting. Sam’s vocal delivery is notable for its clarity and versatility, ranging from smooth crooning to more energetic and edgy tones. In terms of instrumentation, Plunge incorporates a mix of electric and acoustic guitars, driving rhythms, and occasional keyboard embellishments. Evian’s arrangements are crisp and well-produced, with a focus on creating memorable melodies and dynamic contrasts.

Evolution of Sound: Evian’s sound on Plunge marks a departure from his previous works, embracing a more raw and free-spirited approach to production. He incorporates a wider sonic palette, experimenting with different textures and arrangements while maintaining a focus on classic songwriting. His sound can be described as polished and melodic, drawing inspiration from classic pop-rock influences while adding his own modern twist. He has a knack for crafting songs that are both instantly catchy and lyrically thoughtful here, making his music accessible to a wide range of listeners.

Artists with Similar Fire: Fans of artists like Jason Falkner, Brendan Benson, Matthew Sweet and M. Ward should appreciate Sam Evian’s musical style. His blend of indie rock with psychedelic and pop influences will grab listeners who enjoy rich, melodic compositions and introspective lyricism.

Pivotal Tracks: “Jacket” showcases tight grooves, delectable guitar riffs, and cheeky harmonies. It sets the tone for the album’s warm production. “Wild Days” serves as the opener, introducing listeners to the album’s sonic landscape with its Baroque pop elements and lush instrumentation. “Stay” closes the album and it is one of the strongest songs on the album. It’s actually the first track I heard from Plunge with its strolling warm vibe and melodic hook that grabs you instantly. Its slight country twang really pulls it all together.

Lyrical Strength: The lyrics here cover a wide range of themes and subject matter, exploring relationships, introspection, and personal growth. Evian’s clarity shines through, with a heavier emphasis on emotional depth compared to his previous records. The album’s lyrics should connect with their relatable themes and interesting storytelling.

SAM EVIAN LINKS
Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | XWebsite | Thirty Tigers

Christopher Anthony
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