Bystander: Orange Vinyl LP
Johanna Samuels

Bystander: Orange Vinyl LP

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Label: Jealous Butcher
Release Date: 21st July

I just get a lovely feeling in my soul listening to this record, it's got such a tender delicate soul but when it needs to packs a solid punch of country soul. So many lines, turns of phrase and lyrical ideas that wrap around your head.

For those who dig: Anna St. Louis, Plains, Jesse Williamson, Charlotte Cornfield, Marina Allen, Erin Rae, Sam Burton...

The first witnesses to Samuels' new beginnings fittingly became part of the sound of the album - During her darkest moments, while writing in isolation, her old friends in the band Bonny Light Horseman offered to take her out on tour in early 2020

"They re-contextualized music for me all over again," she says. Observing a truly kind and compassionate music community brought Samuels out of herself even more. Inspired by conversations with producer Josh Kaufman (The Hold Steady, Bob Weir, Cassandra Jenkins) on the road, Samuels took him up on his offer to produce her new songs and retreated to Isokon Studios in Woodstock, NY in the summer of 2021. They made the album as a duo, with Matt Barick (The Walkmen, Fleet Foxes) contributing drums on the entirety of the record. The result is a sonic template that ranges from the soaring and orchestral to the understated and confessional; at turns free- wheeling and filled with swagger then sincere and precise, with each subtle movement serving to highlight Samuels' lyrical journeys.

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