Fondue Western impresario Sam Himself shares new single ‘Mr. Rocknroll’
and reveals fashion collaboration with YVY ahead of second album
“Born in Switzerland and bred in Gotham, Sam Himself has won accolades in his homeland but has aspirations to conquer the world.” - SPIN
“His deep, rich vocals remind us of the beauty that exists even during the darkest times.” - The Wild Honey Pie
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Indie rocker Sam Himself, dubbed the King of Tears by Swiss national radio, makes the case for a new nickname with ‘Mr. Rocknroll’, the third single leading up to his sophomore LP Never Let Me Go (due January 27 via Sony Music / Taxi Gauche Records).
The two-time Swiss Music Awards nominee’s latest release is a caustic send-up of the rock’n’roll cliché: “it’s only rock’n’roll and so on,” Sam grumbles repeatedly over brooding guitars and hypnotic synth hooks in this pressure cooker of a song – until it finally explodes.
To record ‘Mr. Rocknroll’, Sam reunited with his longtime producer (aka ‘Second Beatle’) Daniel Schlett (Iggy Pop; The War on Drugs) and mastering engineer Greg Calbi (David Bowie; Bruce Springsteen). They were joined by JD Werner (Ghostface Killah; Lee “Scratch” Perry) on bass and drummer Chris Egan (Solange; Blood Orange).
True to the song’s theme, Sam teamed up with Swiss couturier YVY – whose fans include Billie Eilish and Madonna, according to the New York Times – for a line of sustainably manufactured signature leather pants, as seen on the ‘Mr. Rocknroll’ single cover. Sam Himself’s very own Buckle Trousers, designed by Yvonne Reichmuth, will be available worldwide in December, following the launch of YVY’s new collection.
The music video picks up on the beautifully weird aesthetic that has come to define Sam’s visual language while also charting new territory for the artist. Director Raya al Souliman and photographer Horatiu Sovaiala of Romanian-Swiss Carnation Studio created the clip for ‘Mr. Rocknroll’ based on a script Sam helped develop together with YVY founder Yvonne Reichmuth. Mirroring the monologic voice of an imagined audience in the song’s lyrics, the video shows a leather-clad Sam prancing and parading through an empty Zurich café, his own reflection being his only witness.
In other news, Sam recently announced the first leg of his European tour in support of Never Let Me Go, his upcoming second album, for early next year (additional European and U.S. stops to be announced shortly). Until then, the Fondue Westerner is set to close out a busy 2022 with a holiday treat for his fans, namely the release of his second collaboration with the Basel Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Emmy Award-winner Mark Baechle and Michael Kuenstle.
It’s been less than a year since his debut LP Power Ballads (a “well-crafted set of atmospheric post-punk” – KEXP) broke Sam Himself onto the international stage; few would blame the artist for taking a quick nap on his laurels, e.g. his first national album chart entry, radio airplay across Europe and the U.S. (as recently as May 2022, KCRW declared one of Sam’s songs Today’s Top Tune) and two Swiss Music Award-nominations.
Wasting time, however, isn’t part of the repertoire of the songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist, whose prolific output speaks for itself: before the release of Power Ballads, Sam’s “smokey baritone” ( – Under The Radar) was gaining buzz with Slow Drugs (2020). Sam was on tour in Europe when the pandemic pulled the plug on live music – and Sam’s planned return to New York City, his chosen home of the previous decade. The resulting solitude and sense of powerlessness inspired Sam Himself’s sardonically titled debut album, Power Ballads.
Never Let Me Go, by contrast, brims with hope and promise in the face of a reopening world where it’s once again possible to record and perform together in the same room.
As featured by KCRW, KEXP, SPIN Magazine, Consequence of Sound, Under The Radar, American Songwriter, The Philadelphia Globe, FLUX.FM (GE), radioeins (GE), DIFFUS Magazin (GE), FIP Radio (FR), Les oreilles curieuses (FR), Swiss National Radiotelevision SRF (CH), Danger Mouse Jukebox, Schweizer Illustrierte, 20 Minuten, BZ - Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, and many more.
Source Olivia Rayner
November 11, 2022 5:55am ET by Olivia Rayner