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Sam Amidon Sam Amidon

My art teacher once told me that in order to master a medium, you have to play in it – and once you’ve mastered it, you can start to really play with it.

Released: 23 October 2020
Sam Amidon

Maybe the clearest example is Picasso, who played around and experimented until he mastered the art of a perfect likeness. Then once that exact likeness was found, he was able to mess with it. Deconstruct it, add things, take them away, cube it, do it in a single stroke – see how far away he could get from the original form, how far he could stretch the medium while maintaining that essential mastery.

And while Picasso is always a really cheesy and cliched comparison to draw, it really is the best way for me to explain what Sam Amidon’s up to now. It’s that same kind of playing. Sam mastered his medium some time ago and is now only getting bolder and better at playing around with it, as anyone who’s listened to his preceding albums will already know.

But when I say Sam is “playing”, I’m not just saying that what he’s doing is interrogating and stretching the American folk tradition, turning it into transcendent chaos on 2017’s The Following Mountain and a cozy, almost dream-pop vibe on this latest album. I also intend for that word to carry all the delight, all the joyful curiosity and imagination that it does in other contexts.

This new album is a continuation of Sam having fun, in the way only a master artist can.

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