Dive into the hazy rock reveries of Sam Wrangle’s self-titled album

Sam Wrangle has offered a psychedelic slice of Australiana on his just-released self-titled debut album. 

Spanning shoegaze folk to acoustic indie-rock, the 13-track collection traces every corner of the Brisbane musician’s sound, as anchored by his affinity for guitars and diaristic storytelling. 

The album opens with the catchy cymbal percussion of La Perouse, which sees Wrangle deliver an infectious talk-sing performance reminiscent of Rex Orange County.

Sam Wrangle self-titled album

In between  groovy, 70s-sounding bass lines and fuzzy guitar licks, Wrangle infuses poppier flairs like synths and airy vocal harmonies.  

All the makings of staple indie-rock are there, from airy vocal harmonies to jangly strums, but it’s Wrangle’s songwriting that shines through the brightest, with La Perouse offering a seaside portrait so vivid you can almost imagine yourself inhabiting the titular Sydney beach. 

With mentions of weed smoking freshly mowed lawns, Wrangle paints an evocative vignette of Australian summer, with his cheeky personality present at every turn.

Dylan Young provides percussion on second track Opposition, a shoegaze cut which brims with dense and glistening textures. Wrangle pairs the expansive sound with a dreamy and reverb-heavy vocal performance, while infusing rubbery funk flairs.

sam wrangle

Lyrically, Wrangle ruminates incisively on privilege and idea of a silver spoon. “No time left to be crestfallen,” he croons atop a sultry bassline, “a side-effect of wealth from an earlier age.” 

With its razor-sharp take on “play[ing] this game” of capitalism, Opposition squeezes heady insights within the confines of a catchy soft-rock cut. Later, Future Copy finds Wrangle at his poppiest, with the assist of earworm refrains and an upbeat sensibility. 

Evoking the raw vocal timbre of Stella Donnelly, the fourth track stands as the EP’s most radio-ready, complete with ascendent melodies and the kind of call-and-response hooks you’d hear on a more traditional pop album.

The rose-coloured sheen of Future Copy, helped along by shimmering cymbals,  belies its otherwise introspective storytelling, as Wrangle counts his blessings and sings gratuitously of being “lucky to be alive.” 

Sam Wrangle self-titled album

Wrangle tries his hand at psychedelic folk on second single and album standout Just Living Really. Coasting on sun-drenched acoustic guitar strings, the track begins as a rustic, country-adjacent cut before flitting to something altogether more surreal. 

With the kind of spacey and distorted vocals you might hear from Tame Impala, Wrangle sings retroactively of teenage romance, looking back fondly on his childlike willingness to dive head-first into love. 

Wrangle later offers sonic space for these recollections on Fresh Start, a largely instrumental entry that initially might feel at home on the soundtrack of a classic spaghetti western.

The track later transforms into blissful ambience, punctuated by twangy guitar and panning synths. Cloaked in the exact kind of sonic haze Wrangle sings about, Everything Secondary recounts tales of weed-smoking with the assist of stoner rock stylings.

Sam Wrangle self-titled album

In between acoustic licks and spaced-out atmospherics, Wrangle sings of his first time getting high, contrasting the memory with the policies he’s now forced to uphold as a school teacher. 

Marking the album’s clearest foray into psychedelia, penultimate track Inbetween Thoughts makes use of sparse instrumentation and forefronts trippy, downtempo ambience.

Wrangle’s talents culminate on album closer Leafy Green, which brims with country strums and celestial synths, and sees the singer reminisce on a former relationship, finding “any excuse to be alone with you.” 

Sam Wrangle self-titled album

It’s a worthy conclusion to Wrangle’s exploration of both his sound and himself, with the sprawling tracklist of his self-titled project reading like a manifesto of the man behind the microphone.

Whether he’s singing lightheartedly of spliffs and horizons or digging deep into the tribulations of love, Wrangle possesses a singular voice and clear knack for nostalgic Aussie rock.

Listen to Sam Wrangle’s self-titled album below.