Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You Get the Feeling and It Feels Alright

He lives in New York, he's buddies with Vampire Weekend and Dirty Projectors, and he plays funky, African-influenced pop, but it would be unwise to dismiss Sam Buck Rosen as just another bandwagon rider at a time when more and more white boys seem to be looking to West Africa (or Paul Simon's impression of it) for their musical inspiration. While his songs certainly bear a resemblance to the aforementioned bands, Sam has two big things going for him.

The first is his voice, a rich, sonorous tenor as agile as that of main Dirty Projector Dave Longstreth, but with a warm, honeyed quality often lacking in the more academic approaches of his peers. And all this from a young man not yet old enough to buy his own beer!

Second is his music's sheer rawness. Now, maybe I'm just a sucker for the lo-fi, but it seems to me that if you're going to bite a few African grooves, it would serve you well to play them fuzzy and loose, like you're jamming on the street in the middle of summer, with tape hum standing in for the buzz of a crowded outdoor market. This is how Sam Buck Rosen brings it, plenty rough around the edges and completely unmastered, but you can tell he's having a blast, and let me tell you, the good vibes are infectious!

[mp3] Sam Buck Rosen - "Just Jealous" (unreleased)
[mp3] Sam Buck Rosen - "Trenchtown" (from Get the Motion, buy it here)

For more free and legal Sam Rosen mp3s, I suggest checking out his website, which has lots of songs for download, including his excellent 2008 EP, Hold Me. He also recorded as session last summer for Daytrotter, which can be had here.

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