You’ve GOT to Hear This: Sam Cartwright Johnson – “About A Friend”

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Sam Cartwright Johnson
“About A Friend” is the lead track by 21 year old Bristol based singer/songwriter Sam Cartwright Johnson from his forthcoming “Submerged” EP, due out on AMS Records on 18 April. The EP marks a progression from the self taught raw talent that was honed a few years back at Ireland’s Grouse Lodge Studios into his first 6 track collection of demos, including “Red Gun”.

“About A Friend” is a song partly inspired by a close friend of Sam’s who engaged in multiple relationships with little care for the consequences, ultimately becoming detached from them and indeed themselves. With Sam’s distinctive vocal style the song captures the loneliness of that predicament, with nods to alcohol as a self medicating aid to the accompanying anxiety.

Whilst the song begins in conventional indie folk fashion the track builds in the style sometimes heard from influence Ben Howard towards an explosive crescendo – as if John Murphy had channeled “In The House – In A Heartbeat” from his 28 Days Later soundtrack into 40 seconds rather than over 4 minutes. And it is here that Sam’s skills on vocals and rhythm guitar are perfectly supplemented in a fuller sound by Johnny Poulton on lead guitar and bass and Dom Mosley on drums.

A powerful collection of songs born of imagination and experience the EP also comprises of “Stiches”, “Fanfare”, “It All Ends The Same” before closing with haunting instrumental “A Spirit”, a beautiful track composed on the day of the death of Sam’s father.

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Review by Gavin Watson | @watsongc

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