Sam and the Black Seas - 'The Game'

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Sam and the Black Seas, an independent four-piece outfit that seems to find its way into a few different genres: folk, rock, alternative, and so on. Unlike most bands of four people, however, Sam and the Black Seas have opted for a more unusual set-up. They’ve got two acoustic guitarists, one of which is on lead vocals, a cellist, and a drummer. Their latest studio endeavor is ‘The Game,’ a new single with an exceptionally shot music video. Let’s explore the new track and determine if its worth including in your music collection.

‘The Game’ is chock-full of personality and musical prowess. The acoustic guitars banter off of one another in a particularly fantastic fashion, and the enthusiastic, thunderous percussion accents those performances splendidly. All of that is then underscored by a haunting cello performance. This culmination feels organic and fully-realized. Sam and the Black Seas have crafted a sound unto themselves, and there’s an impressive amount of instrumental talent involved. Each of these for men can really play their instrument. Lyrically, it’s constructed elegantly, too.

The music video for ‘The Game’ is, quite simply, the very best music video I’ve ever seen in the independent music scene. Goodness, it’s so immensely creative and professional. I’d go as far to argue that the quality of this video, which is really more a short film, trumps that of most music videos that get released from major artists in today’s industry. The eclectic nature of the visuals perfectly highlights the equally compelling sonic portrait that Sam and the Black Seas paint throughout ‘The Game.’

The production of ‘The Game’ is worth noting, too. For a four piece outfit that performs entirely acoustically, Sam and the Black Seas pack quite a punch. This kind of music can be especially difficult to record properly. The sound is bombastic and acoustic instruments can be temperamental with microphones and studio set-ups. Whenever I’ve seen an indie group attempt something similar to this, they’ve often fallen on their face in the studio. Sam and the Black Seas haven’t.

‘The Game’ is one of the best indie releases of the summer thus far. It’s the second single Sam and the Black Seas have released on the Atomic Fat label. Thus, keep tabs on them. If this song is any indication, amazing things are on their way.