We review the new single from Sam Himself – Golden Days

Turning defeat into defiance, ‘Golden Days’ is the uplifting, genre defying single from Swiss-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sam Himself. Delivering retro indie pop vibes with a fantastically produced music video that elevates the song’s storytelling, and showcases the fun and charisma of the artist. A co-write between Sam Himself, and long time mentor and collaborator JD Werner, ‘Golden Days’ also sees Sam Himself team up with producer Daniel Schlett (Iggy Pop, The War on Drugs), drummer Chris Egan (Blood Orange), and was mastered by Greg Calbi (David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen).

The song kicks straight in with Drums, keys, and synths, laying the groundwork for the vocals to make their entrance. Sam, Himself’s distinctive vocals come through with a melody that brings Bruce Springsteen anthems to mind, although delivered delicately and intimately, portraying a vulnerability in the vocals that at times seem whispered. Although distinctive, and allowing for lots of vocal dynamics, the lyrics are sometimes hard to define, with his enunciation drowned in the mix.

A beautiful guitar tone chimes through playing a cascading melodic riff, effortlessly elevating the energy of the song, Himself’s vocals rising to meet it. Creating a spaciousness within the track, this mid-section builds anticipation and breaks expectations of the structure of the track before bringing us back down for a verse.

When we do finally hear a chorus, we are rewarded with Springsteen-like melodies and instrumentation, Himself giving a sound that is epic and expansive. The string-like synth and electric guitar partner together extremely effectively, complimenting each other enough to stand out but not to direct attention away from the vocals.

What starts as a slow song, gradually builds into a triumphant celebration of raw energy and emotion. The music video is fantastically cheesy, drenched in nostalgia and humour, and references the playlist of country music that kept Sam company on his recent tour. Paying tribute to cringe-worthy Country Western TV specials of days gone by, the video delivers showbiz cliche and performative nostalgia.

There is something of The Killers in this track, which harks back to a golden-age of rock-and-roll. ‘Golden Days’ relishes the performance, the glamour, and the shine of classic rock songs, delivering these sentiments with gentle riffs and synths and an even gentler voice. Himself’s voice shows incredible versatility in this track, rising from shadowy whispers to falsetto howls seemingly without effort. ‘Golden Days’ is a fantastically strong release, and an exciting precursor for his upcoming sophomore album which is due to be released early next year.