Hypersonic Missiles: The real first appearance of Sam Fender
When you’re faced by multiple generations as Sam Fender is doing, you are facing a lot of things at the same time, the late Millenials and early Centennials do have a different optic of the world and are more sensitive to social issues.
Still, it is not normal for them to come as strong as Sam did, and as open about his visions as he is. Hypersonic Missiles proved since day one, he is not holding back.
The North Sheffield born musician came strong since the beginning and has been making a buzz, first, as an actor in British series such as Vera and Wolfblood. But he’s said on multiple occasions he’s passion is music. And he’s made a brilliant job, being named as BBC’s sound of 2018, alongside people like Khalid, Lewis Capaldi and Sigrid.
He is also a great football fan – the European, so he wouldn’t be betting in the American football. Fender mentioned briefly in an interview how Newcastle United chants saved him during a festival, helping him to find his friends during a period of euphoria and drunkenness.
That year, Fender had dropped his first EP “Dead Boys”, a production that was already charged with reality, as the people from Rough Trade described it: “… Dead Boys deals explicitly with male suicide and mental health issues…” later adding: “All of Sam’s songs tend to feature a resonance and socially-aware, socially-pertinent message…”
The 2018 Critics’ Choice Award winner, started releasing singles in 2017, the first one is Play God, a song featured in both his EP and on the album. Sam’s voice jumps from note to note, over the alternative, continuous track, mainly consistent of guitar, drums and bass.
The song references quite clearly and upfront his opinions about politicians, and how their mistakes end up affecting the population’s lives. Attacking also state surveillance with an Orwellian reference when he adds: “He is watching from the screen/keep an eye on in-between/from the people to the queen”. Incredible.
If you haven’t heard a thing from Fender, you’ll fall on your bottoms when you hear the first track, the one that named the album, Hypersonic Missiles right off the back throws the truth to your face, mentioning war, international tension, inoperative politicians and more, with a lovely track, the song makes you want to sing it from the top of you longs, being an anthem and a real social statement.
Leave Fast is his second single, with an electric guitar accompanying him, talks about his life in a small town in the north of England, and the mindset there, for him it was to “leave fast or stay forever”.
With a mellow track that reminds of Walk by the Foo Fighters, Fender’s Dead Boys talks about the alarming rate of male suicide, and how it has been a publicly discussed issue in the north of England.
Sam goes off again with a reality check spark in White Privilege. Listing everything he sees wrong, not taking an ideological stand, critiquing both sides.
The political correctness, according to Sam, seems to have gotten too far, in a way that, in his words, it’s debatable to see some points of this as progression. The song strikes the white man’s history, finishing with: “Cause I’m a white male, full of shame / My ancestry is evil, and their evil is still not gone.”
Fender does not hesitate in attacking specifically certain issues, one of them is domestic abuse, a thing that he kind of correlates to the small-town mindset. That’s what Two People is about, the ballad ambiguously describes the abusive relationship and slowly comes clear, with the narrator wishing she’ll get out of it saying things like “outside, the world is turning a different life…”
We rarely find artists nowadays that face problem in such a crude and upfront way as he does, and with the harmony, he’s managed to acquire. His socially conscious lyrics and local references, among many more reasons, has made The Independent compare him to Bruce Springsteen. We hope to see a lot more of Fender.
The editorial unit