All Is Wellby Sam Amidon
Samamidon's second album and first for Bedroom Community, All Is Well is, at its core, a very pleasant modern folk album filled with interpretations of older public domain standards, with Sam Amidon's ruminative voice and steady playing not in and of itself immediately unique. A song like "Saro," with its truly lovely arrangement and Amidon's stellar performance, however inevitably his vocal style suggests but does not replicate Nick Drake's, is justification for its release as it stands. However, there's a calm drive at the heart of many of his songs that shows why he's been affiliated with the world of low-key dance experiments as much as anything else, as songs like "Sugar Baby" show. "Little Johnny Brown" is one of the apotheoses of this album's approach, with a variety of sympathetic guests, including Ben Frost on programming and Eyvind Kang on murky viola shading, creating a counterbalance between folk roots and something starkly modern that resembles a slightly more smooth Long Fin Killie, tense and mysterious. Meanwhile, "Wedding Dress" is as sweet a straightforward amble as it could be, Amidon's banjo playing as notable as his guitar work, while "O Death," if even more straightforward in terms his singing, has its melody played like a minimal mantra, heavily echoed and moved forward in the mix, a contrast that makes Amidon sound like he's almost singing through the instruments. It's a small touch but an effective one.
- Release Date:
- Bedroom Community
Performance CreditsSam Amidon Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Fiddle,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Eyvind Kang Viola
Aaron Siegel Glockenspiel
Stefan Amidon Drums
Ben Frost Bass
Nico Muhly Piano
Hrafnkell Orri Egilsson Cello
Valgeir Sigurðsson Bass,Percussion,Harmonium,electronics
Stefðn Jón Bernharðsson Horn
Snorri Heimisson Bassoon
Jonina Hilmarsdóttir Viola
Helgi Hrafn Jónsson Trombone
Rúnar Óskarsson Clarinet
Berglin María Tómasdóttir Flute,Bass Flute
Technical CreditsSam Amidon Arranger,Engineer
Ben Frost Programming
Nico Muhly Arranger,String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment,Wind Arrangements
Dan Bora Engineer
Gabriel Greenberg Cover Photo
Valgeir Sigurðsson Producer,Engineer
Ritxi Graphic Design
Sturla Mio Þórisson Engineer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I stumbled across Sam through Nico Muhly (who is a fantastic musician and composer, and arranged the songs on this album). They are both on the Bedroom Community label, but have very different sounds. However, the clear mix of them on this album make for a very sensitive, open, and honest record. "Saro" has been on repeat for going on three days now.
This album is all at once a send up to the folk songs that shaped modern music in general, and a great leap forward that reminds me again that not all hope is lost for good music in the future.
If you are going on a long road trip by yourself (and everyone should at some point in their lives), this will change you in wonderful ways.