Sam Himself – “Mr. Rocknroll”


Releasing ahead of his upcoming album Never Let Me Go (out January 27th), Brooklyn-based artist Sam Himself impresses with a contemplative rock sound fit for moonlit drives. Aesthetically I’m reminded fondly of The War on Drugs’ atmospheric, chugging vein of rock — which makes sense, since Sam’s longtime producer Daniel Schlett has worked with The War on Drugs and Iggy Pop, while mastering engineer Greg Calbi has credits alongside Bowie and Springsteen.

Sam’s melodic songwriting combines with the expectedly tight production for a riveting sound throughout “Mr. Rocknroll.” Steady guitar twangs and suave vocals build from the initial bass/keys clanging construction. Prior to the two-minute turn, rousing electric guitars and punchy vocals drive to a gorgeously melodic section, where wordless vocals harmonize amidst the peppy synths and chugging guitars. “Mr. Rocknroll” is a success from Sam Himself, whose album Never Let Me Go I’m absolutely anticipating.

The track’s music video is a stellar accompaniment, via director Raya al Souliman and photographer Horatiu Sovaiala, of Romanian-Swiss Carnation Studio — reflecting “the monologic voice of an imagined audience in the song’s lyrics,” in an empty Zurich café.

Photo Credit: Stefan Tschumi

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of December 2022’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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