Australian singer/songwriter, musician, and author Sam Green is an enormously productive artist. He has released multiple full-length albums within a single year more than once while consistently expanding his audience far past his island home. His prolific output, however, doesn’t come at the expense of substance and exposure via platforms such as Spotify have been key. His most popular tracks on that service are spread out over his growing catalog of songs rather than concentrated on one or two releases.
“For the Ocean” is emblematic of his excellence. It is a full band arrangement despite its clean acoustic-based musical attack and achieves a surprising near-cinematic sweep. It owes an obvious debt to folk music, but there is an undeniably strident spirit energizing each aspect of the performance. The performance hails from 2013’s album release I Think It’s Time Now – nearly a decade old and still impressing newcomers and longtime listeners alike. “Your Heart is a Diamond” is another older track ranking high for Spotify listeners and it’s easy to hear why. His poetic powers will be beyond reproach for many listeners; Green’s words sing with the same verve divorced from their musical backing. This gem from 2013’s Players All Are We invokes traditional folk balladry, but Green has the necessary skill to pour old wine into new bottles. It is vital and individualistic despite its stylistic debts.
“Don’t Take Drugs” from 2017’s Love, Love, Love provides another unique window onto Sam Green’s talents. It is another acoustic dominated cut opening with its straight-forward chorus opening the performance. The call and response vocals sound more out of sync than fluid and inviting; his insulting attitude towards drug users expressed during the chorus will alienate some. Another popular recent track is from 2018’s Hoch Poch Album. A hushed melancholy pervades over “Collection of Now and Then” but the performance, on a lyric and musical level, is never mired in despair. It bears pointing out that the production on this particular release captures Green’s guitar with exquisite clarity.
His folk influences continue in full effect during the track “Broken Wings”. This pensive solo performance from another 2018 album, Baked Beans (432 Hertz), is brimming with the same sparkling acoustic guitar playing we’ve heard during earlier tracks. He has the skill for effortlessly conjuring elegiac atmospherics that are never superficial and this final number among his most popular rates high. His prodigious output may alarm some listeners at first glance, it seems improbable someone could write so much and retain quality control. Sam Green us a different breed of cat, however.
His discography is bursting with considered, emotive, and deep performances certain to move all but the most cynical hearts. Green may express sentiments that fail to find favor with you, but no matter; these eventual moments of discord, however severe or mild, are part of what makes his songwriting so intensely human. Sam Green and the Time Machine is an ideal vehicle for his talents and long may he continue to play, write, and release his songs.
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