EP Review :: Sam Singer :: From the Hills, Beaten Roads, Down to the Trees

by Keeley Braunstein-Black

The EP From the Hills, Beaten Roads, Down to the Trees by Sam Singer was released May 27, 2022. This short and sweet folk-rock EP with five songs, running approximately 16 minutes, was recorded at the Secret Beach, mixed by Micah Erenberg and mastered by J Riley Hill at No Fun Club. The artwork by Giuliana Guzzi-Gold, who also appears on the EP as a backup singer, depicts the hills, beaten roads and the trees as a sublime yet rugged flowing dreamscape of earthy pastel colours.

The first song on the EP “Freedom” was written back in 2019 and wasn’t released until May 2022. “Freedom” sparked a passionate debate between my friend Jackie and I. She thought he sounded like Kurt Vile and I thought “Freedom” was reminiscent of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed (Walk on the Wild Side plays in my head). Eventually, we came to the conclusion we may both be correct.

“I Want You Blue” was released as a single ahead of the EP, along with a music video directed by Kevin Tabachnick. Where he has a smoke and a drink while he watches someone from a window as they dock a boat, go for a swim, chop some wood and work on their motorcycle. At long last, their eyes meet, he gets waved over, and they ride off on the motorcycle into the sunset together.

Up next, the song “Suzana” is a dreamy tune about love where the guitar is accompanied by an ensemble consisting of a flute, trumpet, and clarinet. Followed by “Hang Loose,” a faster-paced grooving tune where Singer drawls, “Hang loose. I think I saw you today.” He proceeds to describe missing someone, “Did you even know that we missed you off the paper? Hanging in the circles in my mind.”

Finishing up From the Hills, Beaten Roads, Down to the Trees is “The Pool,” accompanied by prominent horns, a light flute, and a breezy clarinet and keys. The keys become clearer towards the end as the song finishes slowly, drawing out the last moments on the EP as if Singer knows you don’t want it to end.

For fans of: Kurt Vile, Velvet Underground