PREMIERE: Andrew Samuel opens his year with a potent, affecting whisper of loss on Ashleigh

Andrew Samuel is a songwriter in the purest form of the word. He’s the poet with a guitar, the downtrodden lyricist with a notepad forever in his back pocket. And while the music world twists and turns around us, somehow this old-world romanticism becomes more attractive than ever.

It’s exactly this evocative feeling of times gone by that Samuel will entice you with on his new single Ashleigh.

Photo: Kate Cornish
Photo: Kate Cornish

Magnetic and downtempo, Andrew Samuel says goodbye to the acoustic guitar with Ashleigh, our first taste since the groundbreaking Hissing Bitterness EP.

Stylistically, Ashleigh makes for an interesting and potent cocktail (which are undoubtedly the most dangerous). While previously the songwriter has kept himself behind an acoustic guitar, this track is no doubt electronic in nature.

That being said, Samuel’s signature is still present on this sonic portrait, especially in the lyricism. The subtle electronic lines never push themselves to the front of the mix, instead serving as a haunting backdrop to Samuel’s vocal indignation.

Mixed and produced by Samuel, Ryan Brennan (Phantastic Ferniture) and Phan Sjarif (Parliament Studios), Ashleigh represents possibly the the most honest output yet from the Sydneysider.

As always, the poetry within the lyrics are front and centre, Samuel’s hymns of loss and loneliness drawing listeners in like the inescapable pull of a darkened, raging whirlpool.

A track so minimal and so effective bears its strength in restraint, and Ashleigh fittingly closes its curtains with the whispers of an angelic choir fading into nothingness.

Andrew Samuel has outdone himself on Ashleigh, a deeply affecting and addictively morose track. If the rest of 2017 is to follow in the same vein, count us in for plenty more heartbreak to come.