Two thoughts immediately came to mind when I watched the video for this song; ‘soft rock’ and ‘road trip’, and I’m glad that Sam Shingler concurs.
He’s Helsinki-based and half Finnish, half British. When I first saw his name I conjured up some sort of amalgam of Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran in my mind but I’m glad to say there’s more to him than that.
He’s written and performed with various bands and projects including one called Husky Rescue, and one of their songs which he co-wrote, ‘New Light of Tomorrow’, featured on the soundtrack of The Sopranos. So don’t mess with him. He is now focused on his solo project.
‘Home’ is his second single from the forthcoming follow-up to his 2020 debut album ‘Strange Security’.
I get the impression that feel-good soft rock is making a comeback, that perhaps folk have had their fill of the politicisation of music, in your face sexuality and whingeing about being locked down. There’s no science behind that conclusion, I just seem to be hearing a bit more of it these days. Facing up to the very real prospect of having to choose being eating and heating most people just want to be cheered up.
And essentially feeling good is what ‘Home’ is all about, just like Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, which will be making its annual appearance on our radios in the UK any time soon. There is a timelessness about it, which is amplified by the video’s rustic setting; an old truck; an older driver; a dog; an abandoned cassette tape (bring them back!); and Sam and his crew hitching a lift in the back without pop even knowing. Now there’s a thing.
Sam says that ‘home’ for him is not just ‘a structure where one lives permanently’, but more importantly a state where mind, body and soul are in tandem, in harmony. Yoga is one way to achieve that I suppose but I’d rather couch potato and listen to the song.
And it won’t tax you either. There are no sudden changes of key or time signature. The chords are simple and repetitive, as are the lyrics. It’s both downbeat and optimistic at the same time. That’s all that’s required. It just works.
Incidentally, just for a second I thought that ‘home’ might be Manchester. The alignment of the skyscrapers is very similar.
I did consider making a wordplay joke about ‘Shingler’s lift’ but wisely backed away from that one.
A four-song EP, including both ‘Home’ and previous single ‘Utopia’, will be released in November.
‘Home’ was made with Antti Hietala (drums), Janne Nissilä (bass), and Iisa Pajula Timo Silvennoinen Miuku Koo Joanna Sulonen (choir).
Find him on: