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Sam Isaac - Bears

Sam Isaac

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

SAM Isaac’s self-released debut album Bears has taken an unexpectedly long time to see the light of day.

He’d been busily making a name for himself when he suddenly became seriously ill with a disease caught from a mackerel (that’s normally exclusive only to fish).

But having recovered, he set about completing the LP with extra relish and has delivered a collection of songs that range from earnest, hopeful love songs to rousing indie-pop efforts.

It’s not entirely successful and there are certainly some filler sounding songs among the material. But on the whole this marks the emergence of another interesting UK talent.

Songs like Come Back Home Tonight, with its twinkling piano, folksy guitars and “woo hoo/aah haa” melodies, and Fire Fire, which had 3,000 people singing along at the Latitude Festival, have already helped Isaac to generate a strong following.

And while they remain two of the highlights on the album, there’s plenty more where those came from.

Album opener and title track Bears is a nice entry point that slow-builds its way into your heart with a keen sense of melody, some subtly inter-woven guitar riffs and a really rousing chorus.

Sticker, Star And Tape is a foot-stomper of a rock-pop effort that’s brimming with energy and positivity, while Annie, Why Are You So Angry displays some welcome sensitivity and a nice sense of hopeful romanticism.

Berlin, meanwhile, trades guitar riffs and piano chords in suitably low-key, even vaguely melancholy fashion for another enchanting love song, and Calendar intricately builds to one of the more euphoric choruses. It’s another late highlight.

Just occasionally, songs such as I Traded My Friends For You and What Good Did That Do? dip in quality and sound more busker-ish and less polished. But even then, Isaac delivers them so earnestly that it’s hard not to find him endearing.

Bears is therefore a strong debut offering that deserves to shine a very bright spotlight on Sam Isaac.

Download picks: Calendar, Bears, Come Back Home Tonight, Fire Fire, Sticker Star And Tape, Annie, Why Are You So Angry?

Track listing:

  1. Bears
  2. Come Back Home Tonight
  3. Fire Fire
  4. Sticker Star And Tape
  5. Annie, Why Are You So Angry?
  6. Sideways
  7. Berlin
  8. I Traded My Friends For You
  9. Carbon Dating
  10. Calendar
  11. What Good Did That Do?
  12. Apple Tree