Sam and the Black Seas - 'Agata'

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 once again shine our gaze on Sam and the Black Seas, an impressive indie rock outfit that debuted their phenomenal song ‘The Game’ this last July. Upon the release of that track, I lauded the four piece band for their remarkably good production, compelling instrumental make-up, and superb music video. (Seriously, the video for ‘The Game’ dwarfs any other independent video.) Now, the band’s got a new track out called ‘Agata.’ Does it reach the high bar its predecessor set? Let's find out.

Immediately, ‘Agata’ offers a very different glimpse into the musical stylings of Sam and the Black Seas. ‘The Game’ was a bombastic epic, one that clocked in at over five minutes no less. This new tune, however, is just over two. More so, that brevity isn’t just embraced in the track’s length, it’s also embraced in the track’s execution. ‘Agata’ is centralized around an acoustic guitar and not a whole lot else. Some varied instrumental musings slide into the track in its latter half, but it’s very much a soundscape of minimalism.

The folksy nature of ‘Agata’ does align with ‘The Game,’ and I love that this is the tune they’ve decided to follow it up with. It displays some further versatility on behalf of Sam and the Black Seas. ‘The Game’ exuded prowess and intensity. This track, while beautifully performed, doesn’t showboat. It occupies its own space marvelously well, and it’s a stunning piece to compliment the heavier parts of Sam and the Black Seas’ ever-growing catalog.

The lyrics of ‘Agata’ are pretty solid. They do align with your typical “introspective Mumford & Sons-esque acoustic ballad,” but they’re intriguing nonetheless. They're not too derivative.  The track is simply.... pleasant. You could spin ‘Agata’ a dozen times over and not realize it. That is the mark of an excellent soft acoustic track. As always, I remain immensely excited for the future of Sam and the Black Seas. Perhaps we'll see an album this year or early next?

You can spin ‘Agata’ on Spotify now. Check out Sam and the Black Seas on their social media and website below!