Chennai band Big Sam’s EP ‘Stay’ is finally here

From euphoria to heartbreak, ‘Stay’ hits all the highs and lows of love

This extended play (EP) has been in the making even before the band was. The first lyrics of Big Sam’s Stay were written in 2016. The first song of Stay, called ‘Phenomenal Woman’, was released in June 2019 with a slick, somewhat racy video, ensuring for the debutantes plenty of space in the spotlight. After that, however, came another arduous wait for Big Sam fans, with a song here and a video there being released between months-long gaps.

But as of last Friday, Stay is officially out and ready to be binged on, and the wait seems to have been worth it. “We started recording it in the beginning of 2018. Harshil Radhakrishnan of The F16s helped us put these tracks together; he has produced track number two, three, four and five,” says Samuel Vijayan, lead vocalist, lyricist and founder of the five-member band that also includes drummer Goutham ‘Healer’ Balasubramaniam, keyboardist Chintan Trivedi, bassist Adithya Gopi and guitarist Akshay Yesodharan.

The seven-song concept EP, which starts out happily lovestruck, but then takes listeners through all the stages of longing and heartbreak, has an overall mellow vibe to it, but manages to swing between high-tempo excitement (‘Phenomenal Woman’) and slowly mournful reverie (‘Dangerous’). The lyrics are just heartfelt enough to make you dwell, and throughout, it retains something of a nostalgic, softly retro pop, with ‘Here’ breaking the norm with some beautiful acoustics.

For Samuel, the track holds a special place in the softly intense ‘Stay’, the declaration of longing with slight hints of techno and an intimate vibe. “It isn’t the first song I wrote, but it is the song that the entire EP stems from,” he explains. None of them, however, manage to live up to the emotive and craftily put together ‘Phenomenal Woman’, which had given rise to an entirely different level of expectations that had only been heightened by the months of teasing, through video releases and animated promos on Instagram.

“I can’t draw, sketch or create anything from scratch. This was more of photo manipulating from existing templates,” says Samuel. He clearly has a set vision for each song, and manages to convey it with a playfully aesthetic quirk. The teaser promo for the disillusioned and disgruntled ‘All along’, for instance, features a foreground of a tropical (as the summery-pink sky suggests) apartment building with palm trees and a basketball hoop. Seemingly urbane additions add the quirk: balloons rise up from behind the building, dragging up lyrics with them. So do aeroplane banners. Another aeroplane takes flight vertically from the ground, pulling up with it what first looks like a dark mountain, but eventually turns out to be a rip in the pink sky that reveals the starry universe beyond. Intriguing and engaging, almost more than the song itself.

Stay by BIGSAM is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Play Store, Saavn and other music streaming apps.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 2:31:11 PM |

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