Lifted from the forthcoming new EP
‘Are We There Yet?’
Announced as a member of the Ivors Academy Youth Council
Following on from the success of his previously shared single ‘The Kids Are Alright’, which landed on Spotify editorial playlists Fresh & Chill, Pop Right Now and New Music Friday in the UK, Germany and Switzerland; Apple Music’s New Music Daily in eleven countries, and named Record Of The Week on BBC Radio Shropshire, British singer and songwriter Sam Johnson has now returned to deliver his next wistful offering ‘Peter Pan’.
Lifted from his forthcoming new EP ‘Are We There Yet?’, ‘Peter Pan’ follows largely in the footsteps of ‘The Kids Are Alright’ with its broad and atmospheric tones. Matching wistful piano and guitar melodies with his own rich and soaring vocals, his newest gem looks to confront the issues of addiction and depression by taking on the persona of a close friend who has experienced these feelings first hand.
Speaking about his new release, he said, “Originally written for one of my friends as a tale of his struggles with addiction and depression, my friend and collaborator Odd Martin suggested that I write the song as if his life were my own and to therefore lyrically step into his shoes, prefacing every sentence with ‘I’. Suddenly the song blossomed into an amalgamation of both our lives and experiences. Having grown up in the same town, gone to the same school, and shared lots of the same friends, my friend and I had been cut from a very similar cloth, and yet grown apart in our twenties. I likened his tale to one of my favourite novels; ‘Peter Pan’, and also my own fear of leaving childhood behind. Naming the song and constructing its metaphor around the aforementioned “boy that never grew up” therefore seemed like the perfect antidote.”
Taken from Sam’s forthcoming EP, his latest collection is set to see him grow more as an artist and a human being throughout. “I create characters influenced by what I see around me,” he says. “A lot of the lyrics are touchstones of my childhood, and where I grew up… and the people that I grew up around.”
Earlier this week Sam Johnson was announced as a member of the Ivors Academy Youth Council. The newly formed Youth Council is made up of sixteen young creators from the Academy’s Youth Network, acting as an advisory group, which will form a central role in shaping the future of the Academy. The Academy’s Youth Network, which was established last autumn, is a growing and connected community of young creators and a hub of partnerships with Universities, Colleges and other non-academic organisations. The Network aims to empower and educate young songwriters and composers of all genres, and provide a platform at the Academy to voice views on music industry issues.
A driven and relentlessly ambitious artist, Sam Johnson’s story also owes a debt to chance. Fate dealt him an unusual card when Kevin Shields – My Bloody Valentine auteur – crossed his path, taking the fledgling talent into the studio for the very first time. “That was a real moment for me… that developed my backbone. It made me want to have that element of legacy. And he made me realise that it could be done.”
A country boy lost in the big city, Sam’s music has taken him from a rural setting to the London metropolis, but he’s driven by an extraordinary sense of purpose. ‘Are We There Yet?’ is a tightly bound EP, one where each passage speaks to the next. Overseen by My Riot at RAK Studios, the production is left deliberately raw, almost unfinished, so that the songs “could breathe, without over-cluttering it too much”.