With “Play God”, Sam Fender proves he’s the divine storyteller the music world needs.
The 21-year-old Newcastle native began playing in pubs when he was just 13, and it was one of these performances a few years later that caught the attention of Ben Howard’s manager. He was soon offered the chance to open for Willy Mason, which lead to opening for Ben Howard, Hozier, Catfish and the Bottlemen and more.
If Sam’s stunning first two singles are any indication, he’s soon to be a headliner himself. His first single “Play God” reached number one on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts shortly after its March release, and its follow-up “Greasy Spoon” has been getting major radio play (like, Elton John’s Beats 1 show major). Their appeal is clear upon first listen – Sam’s soulful vocals combined with indie rock melodies creates something unique, catchy and emotional.
The video for “Play God” is all those things and more, highlighting the storytelling aspects of Sam’s lyrical style. Lyrics like “sewer rats will shower the underground in a race to make ends meet” and “no matter who you are or where you been, he is watching from the screen” are reflected in the video’s ominous tone. With imagery reminiscent of The 1975’s “Settle Down”, “Play God” paints a similar picture of a grey, seaside English town that’s not-quite-right. Both videos center on young boys learning to fight, but only one features a sick dance routine, so Sam’s should go straight to the top of your watchlist.
While Sam hasn’t revealed exactly when new music is coming, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be hearing much more of him soon. If you’re not prepared to wait, though, you can see Sam at festivals across the U.K. this fall and supporting Bear’s Den on their European tour.