Jul 09, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
NY-based singer/songwriter and self-described ‘Fondue Western baritone’ Sam Himself is gearing up to release his debut LP Power Ballads later this year. With the world brought to a standstill by COVID-19 and Sam unexpectedly stuck in his native Basel, Switzerland, Sam decamped to his mom’s attic and spent the lockdown writing his debut. He’s already shared “Nothing Like the Night” and “Cry,” his first two singles from the record, and today he’s back with his third single, “What It’s Worth,” premiering with Under the Radar.
Unsurprisingly, being back home dredged up memories for Sam, memories that form the vulnerable core of “What It’s Worth.” “I’m back where we broke/A lifetime ago/My clock’s still stuck right where it froze,” he sings in the opening lines. Overtop of ‘80s-tinged synth lines, Sam’s lyrics tell a tale of love long-broken but never forgotten. His smokey vocals drift into wistful reverie, exhuming the ghosts of his past amidst a spacious synth pop anthem.
As Sam Himself describes, “What It’s Worth” is a tribute to a past relationship that fell apart after his father’s death. “My own history caught up with me during my time back in Switzerland. That’s where I grew up, and living there again brought back a lot of memories; home doesn’t forget… One ghost I kept running into was that of an old relationship that fell apart when I lost my dad a few years ago. My hometown is the place where all of that happened, his death and all its casualties, and ‘What It’s Worth’ is about one of them.”
Check out the song and accompanying lyric video below, and watch for Power Ballads, due out later this year.