The Haunt, Brighton 28.9.18

Will Samson is an ethereal, electro-charged wizard. Hailing all the way from Oxfordshire, with his female violinist, the duo create a peaceful ambience to get lost in, even when the tracks are over six minutes long. His mainly falsetto vocal begs for a bit more variety but doesn’t detract from the beauty of what he is creating and he seems very humble as a performer, which is endearing, adding to his appeal as an artist. His most recent single ‘Calescent’ stands alone as a deep thinking message to your mind. And Will Samson’s music does what all music should do, transporting a listener beyond a psychological connection, instead getting into your soul. I need to listen to him again to fully appreciate it. Very nice.

The plus one actually prefers him to S. Carey (yes, Sean Carey - the drummer and collaborator of Bon Iver; no, I didn’t realise that at first either). To be honest, both songwriters create a very relaxed mood, using melody to convey a subtle, enveloping emotion, which I personally find quite dreamy. With a full band as a backdrop to a soft breathy vocal, Carey’s folky, indie pop master class is the soundtrack to your favourite road trip, or at least the perfect background music to a TV drama where the lead couple has had a serious moment and are driving somewhere, perhaps one of them looking whimsical. There is probably rain delicately falling too.


But this sounds like I’m taking the mickey. And I’m not. I genuinely really like this. It’s easy to see why Carey has been compared to Fleet Foxes, Jose Gonzales and Sufjan Stevens. It takes me somewhere else. Yes, the word ‘pleasant’ was invented for music like this and it’s by no means smacking you in the face with originality but such simple song writing is like a good hug - exactly what I need as we approach Autumn, offering light and warmth when it is dark and a bit nippy. Playing material from throughout his decade-long career as a solo artist, S. is as comfortable holding a guitar as he is plonking a piano, bantering with his band, harmonising beautifully, engaging the audience to create an intimate and friendly atmosphere and the world outside seems a world away for one short hour or so. Taylor Swift is apparently a fan. I will listen to him while walking along a windswept beach, pretending that I have sand instead of shingle.

Anna C