Friday 24 August 2018

LISTEN: Sam Fender - 'Dead Boys'

Testament to the scores of incredible artists they work with, it often feels a little like I'm running a Communion Music fan blog. Here's a new track from Sam Fender, one of the latest in a long line of artists I've discovered thanks to Communion. While volunteering at The Great Escape earlier this year, I couldn't decide who to go and see one evening, and took myself along to the label's showcase, catching Sam after Tamino. I'd never listened to either, but have a lot of love for so many of the label's artists - it's usually safe to assume that if Communion likes an artist, I probably will too.

Much the same as with Dermot Kennedy the previous night, it was clear that Sam already had quite a loyal following thanks to a string of quality singles. The latest is Dead Boys, which has been gaining support from the likes of the NME and BBC Radio 1, and which was shared alongside news of a UK tour later in the year. The track explores themes of toxic masculinity and suicide among young men, focusing around the main refrain "we close our eyes, blind our pain, nobody ever could explain, all the dead boys in our hometown." Talking with the NME, he explains that he has lost close friends to suicide and that playing the track to people has made him realise just how far reaching the issue is, saying that "if it gets to one person and they feel like they should reach out an talk to somebody, then it has done a good job." In the interview, he also shares his belief that "archaic" beliefs of how men should behave, in terms of their reaction to emotional stress, is what kills men. There's always room for socially conscious young artists in my playlists - get listening to the track now!

Full tour dates: The Mash House, Edinburgh (29th October); Fibbers, York (30th); King Tut's, Glasgow (31st); The Chapel, Leeds (2nd Nov); The Leadmill, Sheffield (3rd); Soup Kitchen, Manchester (5th); The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool (6th); Thekla, Bristol (7th), Rock City Basement, Nottingham (10th); Omeara, London (12th and 13th); Newcastle University, Newcastle (17th). Tickets available through Sam's site here.

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