The second EP from Samuel Hill comes less than 6 months after his brilliant debut White Open Window, and whilst the former was a sweet collection of baroque folk which seemed strongly influenced by his relocation from Canada to Paris this follow up takes on something a bit different. The track Rhythmic Summer sums up both in title and in sound the changes which have occurred between releases; it’s wistful hazy guitar lines and breathy vocals are representative of the overall tone here. It’s arguably the stand out track with the lethargic calming nature of Hill’s vocals lending the track a lazy summer feel which is offset perfectly by some intoxicating backing vocals courtesy of Eagle/Deer. There’s a warm fuzzy feeling which runs all the way through these four tracks, from the rich textured synth which announce the opening of In Your Basement to the delicate acoustic noodlings at the closing. The bold repetition of these opening chords sets the mood perfectly; giving the song a sense of defiance, the kind that only really comes as a child soaking up the summer atmosphere whilst roaming the streets in the midnight light feeling as though you’re outside later than anyone else has ever been. This might suggest that these are songs only to be listened to in summer but that sense of nostalgia means that they work equally well as reminders of what’s just round the corner as we shiver and shake our way through the treacherous winter months.
The closing track Little Feet is the perfect wind down, as dark begins to fall and the tired legs start to flag from a day in the sun. There’s a relaxed country vibe to it like being laid down to sleep while the majestic brass expands and contracts like quiet breaths. Hill has a knack it seems for writing brilliantly understated pop songs and this release suggests that he can do so in a variety of styles, which is very promising indeed. I already can’t wait to hear more.
You can stream and download this release here