In an age where acoustic and folk talent is seeing a revival, Sam Wickens’ Send Me EP could not have come along at a better time. A profoundly rich, well-rounded and earthy sound, Wickens’ is a wonderfully gifted singer-songwriter whose music undoubtedly rouses the soul.
He has been compared to the likes of Jeff Buckley and Paolo Nutini, to my ear however there is something very Mike Rosenberg or Alex Clare about him. The delectable blend of soul, blues, folk and gospel that Wickens’ weaves through each of the six tracks on Send Me sets him apart from his peers and comfortably amidst his contemporaries.
Such a deeply and mature sound created by Wickens, it is hard to believe that he is still in his early twenties. I have heard older folk artists that lack the maturity and depth of composition that comes so easily to him. A beautiful ebb and flow of emotion, each track has its own personality, its own defining characteristics, his raw creativity penetrates through each layer of each piece to grab at you and so beautiful is each track in its own right that his unique sound lingers on in your peripheral long after the EP has ended.
The title track is incredibly haunting and it’s no surprise why it has surpassed every other track on this EP to hold pride of place.
There is a heavy, earthy, soul moving rawness to ‘Send Me’, it possesses a quality that is almost impossible to cement into a description. It is a track that needs to be felt as well as heard to be truly appreciated.
Opening track ‘Breath’, for me is in its own way breath-taking. I have heard a number EP’s from up and coming new talent and there are very few that grab me so instantly. ‘Hold the Time’ is another beautiful track – I am a real sucker for a song that makes such a poignant feature of an enchanting piano accompaniment.
It’s hard not to love every track on this album, or to say that they aren’t all enchanting, mesmerising or hypnotic. Send Me is more than just music, it is more than a well composed EP, it is something that should be felt – and very few musicians these days can make you feel their music, experience their music on a deeper level.
The inclusion of two live tracks – one of which is a live performance of ‘Send Me’ – which were performed at Belfast’s Clayton hotel as part of the renowned Belnash festival earlier this year, gives the EP more depth, and further showcases the truly raw talent of which Sam Wickens’ is possessed.
A Bangor native he may be but what he has to offer to the world of music is like nothing you hear hailing from our fair shores. There is something of an old soul in Wickens’ music, a worldliness to his music that is as sincere as it is incomprehensible. His unique style and stand out sound will carry him a long way as he forges a reputation as a down to earth, mesmerising musician and live performer.
‘Send Me’ is a must for any music desperately seeking to sink their teeth in to something sharp and fresh.