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Dead Boys Limited Vinyl EP

by Sam Fender

Release Date: 22 November 2018

Format: EP Vinyl

Label: Polydor

£9.99

Sam Fender Dead Boys Limited Vinyl EP

Overview:

Sam Fender releases his debut EP 'Dead Boys' on November 20th 2018 via Polydor Records.

The young North Shields musician, whose lyrics tackle hard-hitting subjects of social importance and generational significance, are broadly drawn from his experiences growing up on Tyneside. The content is significant, and wrapped in rousing, propulsive, arena-sized anthems.

Having sneaked onto the BBC Sound of 2018 shortlist with only a couple of songs out in the ether, Sam’s come good on the initial buzz whilst 2019 already looks his for the taking.

There’s an edge to Fender’s songs that can also make him tremble. The surging, urgent Dead Boys deals explicitly with male suicide and mental health issues, and has caused outpourings of emotion among a growing band of followers. All of Sam’s songs tend to feature a resonance and socially-aware, socially-pertinent message. It’s what helps to define him, and makes him leap-frog the endless slew of winsome singer-songwriters that sound fine, but have precisely nothing to say for themselves.

Dead Boys takes pride of place as the opening and title track on Fender’s forthcoming debut EP, and is quickly followed by the clamour of Spice, named after the titular legal high that has wreaked havoc up and down Britain in recent years. “It’s about a boy who was really talented, clever and ended up destroying his life because of legal highs,” he says. “There are so many kids across Britain who have ruined their lives and ended up homeless because of spice. It’s terrifying.”

The song strikes a chord, scraping close to the bone, and Fender’s explanation does similar. “With nothing to do and being out of work and out of any inspiration to do anything, people just want to be in oblivion,” he says.

Leave Fast is slower, plaintive chords allowing lines about boy racers, sand dunes and shitty pubs to bring the stark images of Fender’s hometown to life. “It’s my hometown so I know it like the back of my hand. My writing has to be about what I know, but it’s also what I care about. These are things that affected me to the point where I wanted to say something.”

The spiky riffing on Poundshop Kardashians finds Fender struggling to make sense of vacuous celebrity and the throwaway nature of vast swathes of modern culture.

“I’m ranting about the stupid stuff we idolise in the western world, but feeling helpless because I’m not smart enough to pose an argument for its destruction,” he explains. “I’m panicking all the time. I just don’t understand the world we live in and I think a lot of people feel like that.”

That last point has allowed Sam Fender into the hearts of many. He’s speaking frankly to a confused generation. His vivid stories make his messages loud and clear. This music doesn’t come easy.

“My songs come from a very real place, a lad from the North-East of England writing about what’s in front of his face,” he says. “I never will claim to be an expert about the issues I talk about, but I will try and talk about them.”

One thing Fender can claim to be an expert on is North Shields, the area that has shaped his gnarled, addictive songs more than anything else. “It’s a very proud place. My dad was a club musician, and worked as an electrician and various other jobs. He played social clubs for years, people I grew up with were grafting through the week in different jobs and playing gigs at the weekend,” Fender says. “They were part of a big community and industry that got destroyed in the ‘80s, so I grew up when everything was dismantled.”

The Dead Boys EP finds space for a thank you to music itself. His next gambit, the seismic That Sound, wriggles and bangs through a melody that supports the big-hearted idea that music keeps Sam Fender on the straight and narrow. It’s always been his only viable option.

Featured Tracks:

1. Dead Boys - Prelude
2. Dead Boys
3. Spice
4. Poundshop Kardashians
5. That Sound
6. Leave Fast

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