Nonesuch Records releases Sam Amidon’s label debut Bright Sunny South this Tuesday. Bright Sunny South follows 2010’s critically acclaimed I See the Sign, which earned Amidon praise from SPIN for his “quirky alchemy…contrasting pretty sounds with violent lyrical undercurrents”. Amidon describes his new collection of work as “a lonesome record” and a return to the more spare sound of his 2007 self-recorded debut, But this Chicken Proved Falsehearted that welcomed the listener into an intimate, personal space. His new album is self-described as “a journey, a winding path. The band comes rushing in and then they disappear. It comes from more of a darker, internal space.” In the forefront, is Amidon‘s sure yet frangible voice, hovering in a high register and as its accompanied instrumentation flows just below it. The movements on Bright Sunny South are gradual because they’re contemplative, yet the musical performances are raw. “It was very much a process of discovery for the both of us. At that point, the final take was the one where I was able to get all the way through without messing the guitar part up.” This counterbalance makes those rare occasions of accelerated instrumentation & unedited honesty all the more exhilarating. On “I Wish I Wish”, snare and piano chords are occasionally placed in off-beat moments, giving the song an eccentricity that separates it from traditional indie folk. Lead single “My Old Friend” is a nod to Amidon‘s American roots with “sun-warmed…acoustic guitar, capo’d high to give it a twinkling quality, edged by small cirrus clouds of electric lead”. Pitchfork premiered the track earlier this year and is featuring the album for stream here on Pitchfork Advance. Now married with English artist Beth Orton and a father of one, Bright Sunny South is a patchwork portrait of the Vermont-born and raised, London-based Amidon himself, with each of these tunes representing a facet of the singer and multi-instrumentalist’s own history, his memories, his travels, and his discoveries.
RIYL: Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Neutral Milk Hotel, Iron & Wine, Nick Drake
Recommended Tracks: #4 “My Old Friend”, #2 “I Wish I Wish”, #5 “He’s Taken My Feet”, #7 “As I Roved Out”, #11 “Weeping Mary”
Going for Adds 5/13 & 5/14