Miami-born singer-songwriter Sam Friend says he’s been in a “cowboy whimsical phase” while working on his third album, Spirit Mirror (which may explain why he hopped on a horse during our video shoot at Jam Farms in August). After he finishes up a 16-date, 8-state tour at the end of September, Friend plans to dedicate himself to finishing the record, though he says there is no official release date for the album. To tide us over, he has released a four-song sampler from Spirit Mirror, including “I M U R” and “Find Fine Light”, both of which premiered on the Beached Miami podcast in late June.
The recordings embedded below feature Friend on guitar and vocals and his fellow U.M. School of Music alum Derek Fairholm (piano), Brian Tate (bass), and Arturo Garcia (drums, background vocals, melodica). Bridget Davis created the artwork for the release and sings backup on “High Hives”.
Friend’s confessed cowboy leanings show up strongly on “High Hives”, whose opening riff could easily soundtrack a dusty duel, but, as a whole, the songs attest to his versatility as a songwriter, his comfort in the space between notes (“Find Fine Light”), his weakness for a strong rock progression (“Bedlam”), and, above all, the unguarded sincerity (“I M U R”) that is, I believe, the allure of his music.
To download the Spirit Mirror sampler, visit Friend’s bandcamp page.