Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Sam Fender strikes a familiar but resonant chord with new single ‘Alright’

It’s been a good year so far for Sam Fender. From a momentous Glastonbury set, the ecstatic atmosphere of which seemed to astound Fender as much as the audience, to playing his largest headline show last Friday at Finsbury Park, the young English rocker has gone from strength to strength - which makes it the perfect time to surprise fans with a new single, his first since the release of his second full-length album ‘Seventeen Going Under’ last October. 

Met with resounding critical praise, last year’s record boasted cathartic rock anthems, ruthless political commentary, and sobering, introspective piano ballads. ‘Alright’ is no great deviation from form, lingering in the themes of family relationships, youth and apathy explored in ‘Seventeen Going Under’. With its bright, jangling guitars and twinkling glockenspiel, it sits comfortably alongside the rest of Fender’s discography. 

However, ‘Alright’ takes on a more solemn, world-weary tone than many of the more exuberant, adrenaline-filled tracks on ‘Seventeen Going Under’. “We’re alright, we’re alright / It’s time to put the world to rights,” sings Fender on the chorus, seemingly trying to make it so by repetition of the phrase. Behind his vocals, a saxophone moans slow and sombre, never quite bursting forth into the foreground, as if the wild, Springsteen-esque euphoria of Fender’s past singles were trying but never quite managing to break through the malaise. 

‘Alright’ may not represent a radical change in pace for Sam Fender, but with his rich, soulful vocals as strong as ever and his moody lyricism still heavy with emotion, it’s a sure sign that we have plenty more to look forward to from this formidable musician.

Zoë White


Image: ‘Alright’ Official Single Cover

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