CD Sam Brookes (CD 15769266),
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Sam Brookes

  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2774807

  • Credits

    Championed as one of British folk's bright young hopes, 24-year-old Surrey singer/songwriter Sam Brookes' self-titled debut album is certainly more at the traditional end of the market than that of the nu-folk scene populated by the likes of Mumford & Sons. Produced by Chris Hughes (Tears for Fears) and Mark Frith (Electric Soft Parade), there are major echoes of career influences John Martyn, Tim Buckley, and Joni Mitchell all over its brief but impactful eight tracks, from the gentle and yearning intricate acoustics of "Forever Absent"; to the toe-tapping fingerpicking opener "In Weeks," a contemplative account on the fleetingness of friendship; to the world-weary harmonies of "Travelling Man." Previously the frontman for indie blues outfit the Volt, Brookes certainly knows his way around an impassioned rousing melody, as evident on the "woah-woah" chorus of "Platform 16" and the frenetically strummed Seth Lakeman-esque seafaring folk of "The Design," and although the closing Americana-tinged "Glass House" is the only track to really move the pace into second gear, the flashes of harmonica, fiddle, and mournful strings ensure the sedate vibes never become snoozesome, as do Brookes' versatile bluesy tones, which switch from impassioned hippie-ish troubadour on the pastoral "Doors" to effortless falsetto on the haunting minimalist "Like a Butterfly." Admittedly, Sam Brookes' concise track list means it feels more like an introductory EP than a fully formed album, but while a more essential record is sure to follow in the future, it's still a promising and authentically timeless first offering that suggests the hype is fully justified. ~ Jon O'Brien

  • Critic Reviews
    Q (Magazine) (p.103) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Offering introspective songwriting....He generates an engaging sense of cosmic wonder on 'Doors' and 'Like A Butterfly'..."
    Uncut (magazine) (p.81) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "'Travelling Man' harks back to ancient traditional song, and 'Glass House' sounds a little bit like Led Zeppelin in their mystical and bucolic pomp."
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