By Cassandra Cloutier:
On September 30th the Royale hosted what could only be described as a beautiful night of atmospheric delight. The concert kicked off with NYC based artist, Sam Evian, whose self-described genre is “rebellious adult contemporary ez listening” which set up the concert vibe to be a relaxed and joyous evening. Sam’s set started with the songBig Car off his new debut album “Premium” where each song blended seamlessly into the next. Despite his set being thirty minutes, he sent the crowd on a dream-like adventure through his delicately crafted, poetic lyrics mixed with audio brilliance, a sprinkle of jazz influence and energy that carried into the next band of the night, Luna.
This four-piece indie rock group originally formed in 1991 kept the audience on their feet and craving more for the entire duration of their set which started off with the song California (All the Way) from their 1994 album, “Bewitched.” Overall, the night was filled with terrific tunes and lighthearted, fun banter between songs uniting the audience and artists like only the best concerts can do and this is certainly one show you’ll want to experience. Both artists’ upcoming events can be found on their official Facebook pages.
A Post-Show Interview with Sam Evian:
Question: You have a very unique aesthetic and style, where do your visual influences come from/what artists are you inspired by?
Answer: “I worked with these wonderful people who are my great friends, who ran a record label called Hometapes and when we first started the project, I had already put a song out as Sam Evian, which is my luxury brand, and it’s kinda all about playing into certain tropes. I thought they would have a lot of really powerful ideas about that and they developed the fonts and the look of the record and all that stuff, so we kinda worked together on all that.”
Question:You mention often how hydration is extremely important, but are there any other healthy habits you feel don’t get enough recognition?
Answer: “Well, I’m really all about hydration right now. Someone told me that I wasn’t hydrated like, a year ago, and it really got to me. I think hydration is just such an idea that is all encompassing. Metaphysical, reality and not reality, no matter what you can hydrate yourself like musically, with wellness or not wellness, energy or not energy so I just like the idea of soaking things up.”
Question: Seeing as you’re from NYC, do you think this plays a role in the sound of your music and if you were from a small town in the woods somewhere your style would be different?
Answer: “Well I actually did grow up in a small town in the middle of the woods, but I live in New York City and I’ve been there for six years, I also lived in Boston, and after Boston I lived in LA, but before Boston, I lived in North Carolina and spent my childhood in North Carolina in a very small town in the woods on a river that lead to the ocean. Very small, lot of… minimal cultural exchange. So that’s why I have some country influences.”
Question: You just released your debut album, Premium, what was that recording process like and are you already looking ahead to potentially release more music any time soon?
Answer: “I have a nice relationship with Saddle Creek, and they’ve asked me to make a second record so that’s something I will be doing probably this year and into next year. The recording process was really simple because I work at a recording studio in Brooklyn, and I would just have my friends come over after I was done working and we’d record and kind of talk for awhile, then record a little more, and talk a little more, then record a little more so that was kinda the vibe. I also think it’s to not have like any expectations because if you’re trying to make a record that’s gonna be the best record ever, you’re probably going to get something way different. The most important thing I learned this year was to totally release expectations.”
Question: If you had to choose, what’s your favourite song on the album?
Answer: “It’s weird to think back and be like, I really liked the thing that I did because usually there’s this feeling of just I can do better than that. But I do like performing that song called Cactus. It has a lot of space and I love music that’s almost silent or music that has emptiness so it has an atmosphere. So fun to play.”
Question: Is there an ideal location/situation you think everyone should listen to this album in? (i.e. late night drive, at the beach, etc.)
Answer: “I think you kinda nailed it, definitely at the ocean, but also maybe driving to the ocean at night. Because actually I love cars, I love listening to music in cars, and it’s kinda a good record for cars. When I mixed it, I parked my car in front of the studio and every time I’d finish mixing a song I would go into the car and drive around for awhile and be like hold on the right speaker is distorting a little too much ‘cause I have this little VW and it was the perfect gauge for how to get the mixes to feel okay.”
Question: Do you have any pre show rituals/what are they?
Answer: “If I have the time or the space, I guess I like to have a time to space out, because like today, Austin the drummer had to move this morning so he had to move all of his stuff out of his apartment and I helped him carry a couple couches, so I really like helping people move. My pre-show ritual is helping move my friends out of their apartments.”
Question: What advice would you give aspiring musicians who maybe don’t want to follow the mainstream construct of “this is how you become famous” but want to do something more artistic or visual like you do?
Answer: “I think the most important thing you can ever do for yourself is stay hydrated.”