Sun 07 Nov 2021
Seated | All Ages
Sam Brookes has been down into the depths, only to re-emerge with a firm fixation on the beauty and light that can be found in the everyday. He’s been pushed through grief, loss, and heartbreak, using music as a tool to piece himself back together, and to find a forward path.
But it hasn’t always been easy. 2014’s ‘Kairos’ was named one of the year’s standout recordings by the Independent, with Sunday Times acclaiming Sam as a Breaking Act. Meanwhile his soaring, multi-octave voice – often compared to Tim Buckley – stands as one of the most expressive instruments in British music. Folk-meets-jazz twisting and turning at the outer reaches of the singer-songwriter role, his music is confessional in the most explicit way – and new album ‘Black Feathers’ is as honest as it gets.
‘Black Feathers’ is a record of exquisite beauty, and unrelenting turmoil. It’s an album of grief and loss, but also of discovery. It’s a gorgeous, painstakingly constructed affair, with guests ranging from revered jazz pianist Neil Cowley to acclaimed fiddle player Sam Sweeney, while Ethan Johns – who has worked with Kings Of Leon, Laura Marling and more – made a rare appearance behind the drum kit.
A daring, riveting experience, ‘Black Feathers’ is a stunning body of work, the sound of someone cutting free from the tangled web of the past to explore a bold future. “I feel like I’m much calmer around who I am, what art I’m making, and what the future may or may not hold,” he says. It’s this emotional transcendence that makes Sam Brookes’ work so rewarding, so valuable. As a listener, you come out the other side cleaned, enriched. “I feel that there’s hope and strength in this work,” he comments. “I hope that people who have been touched by grief can connect with it.”
‘Musically, he excels at propulsive, narratively rich folk, delivered in a soaring, clear-as-a-bell singing voice that makes every word of his evocative, detailed lyrics count.’