Will Samson
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Will Samson

Oxford, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Oxford, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Folk New Age




"'Balance' review on Motor.de"

Der Soundtrack für das eigene Poesiealbum: Der Singer/Songwriter Will Samson errichtet seinen Folk auf trübseligen Ambient-Boden. Die Moral von der Geschicht: Wahre Glückseligkeit braucht die Alltagshektik nicht - Motor (DE)

"'Balance' review on A Closer Listen"

Be warned, fans of instrumental work: Will Samson‘s album is quite heavy on the vocals. With understandable lyrics and everything! There’s no charter for ignoring singers at A Closer Listen, just that our natural inclination is towards songs and sounds without words. But Balance relies a lot more on atmosphere, and Samson’s voice (imagine Antony sampled through a Jonsí machine) sits within the music rather than on top of it, a fragile instrument threatening to crack and disappear at any moment, so it shouldn’t alarm or distress any visitors to ACL.

The overall impression that Balance conjures is of a lo-fi folk album, recorded on a cassette player’s built-in microphone and then lost down the back of the sofa for half a decade. There’s no small amount of tape hiss here, which adds to the atmosphere and lends a hazy feel to the songs, obscured as they are by a layer of Dolby-free gauze. The opening “Oceans Are Wilder” is the whole album in a microcosm: a delicate toy piano, ambient waves, Samson’s voice – sometimes sampled, sometimes multi-tracked – and a rich organic hum filling out the arrangement. It’s an almost heartbreakingly beautiful sound.

Samson began recording the album in a house shared with five others, and so he had to balance (hey!) his work; waiting for times when the house was quiet enough to make music but without disturbing the others in their slumber. The hushed approach gives Balance a four-in-the-morning feel – not in the alcohol-fuelled comedown sense, but rather capturing the sense of wonder at the first rays of dawn on the horizon, the birds warming up their voices, the feeling of nature awakening again while most humans sleep on. Although the record was completed in a more sympathetic recording environment, the spirit of the earlier work was retained; it’s an album that relies more on feel than on melody.

That’s not to say there aren’t tunes on Balance; it’s hard not to be swept along by the lilting guitar of “Painting The Horizon”, for example, but the overall impression is not what Samson is saying but how he’s saying it. Where many home-recordists tend toward a crunchy digital sound, this music is full of analogue spaces, made up of sounds that would be removed by other artists and engineers. The result is an album that’s warm and welcoming, like a hot bath at the end of a busy day. - A Closer Listen (UK)

"'Balance' review on Nothing But Hope And Passion"

Balance – isn’t this what we are all about? Being balanced, being happy, decelerated and at the same time not superficial and borin? An exciting life without being stressed – sounds good, right? Probably that’s what WILL SAMSON is about, too. At least the title of his new record, Balance let’s us suppose things like that. The singer-songwriter with the – sometimes Justin Vernon (BON IVER) like – falsetto voice does it all right on this album. Minimalistic music – somewhere between “normal” acoustic singer-songwriter music and ambient music, building up a great dreamy atmosphere and knocking the listener out with a voice that perfects the entire atmosphere. Eight songs to dream away. Eight songs to find you balance to. And if it didn’t work after one listen, just listen to Balance again. If works. Again and again.
WILL SAMSON told: “The recording process of this album was a joyous one, and it is my sincere hope that you may find some happiness within these songs too.” – We did! And if you don’t know his music by now, you will find happiness within these songs soon, too.
But be aware: Once you click play you’ll probably fall in love with the wonderful WILL SAMSON and dream away to his songs. A good deal: it’s all about the balance, right? - Nothing But Hope And Passion (DE)

"'Balance' review on Deftune"

“To say this is one of the most beautiful albums I’ve heard all year is an understatement” - Deftune (US)

"'Balance' review in Clash Magazine"

“Its running themes and riffs waft over songs so heartfelt, you dare not speak over them” - Clash Magazine (UK)

"8/10 'Balance' review in UNCUT"

“Awash with Eno-esque ambience, and recorded late at night to cassette - the glitches and hiss adding to the dusky atmosphere, it’s an unusually intimate collection, with tracks like “Oceans Are Wilder” so sparse as to barely be there —- 8/10” - Uncut (UK)

"Textura Album Review (2011)"

Backed by a mix of delicately pealing electric guitars and mandolin-like acoustic strums, Samson weaves his multi-tracked vocals—a lovely harmonic blend of falsetto and baritone pitches—into eight entrancing song settings….a haunting collection of songcraft best heard either in the early morning hours or the depths of night - Textura (CA)

"3VOOR12 / VPRO live review (Dutch)"

Samson’s hoge, dromerige vocals en warme gitaarklanken komen prachtig tot hun recht in het sfeervol verlichte NS16. Direct na de eerste tonen van het concert, besluit het publiek voorzichtig dat dit niet de muziek is om staand naar de luisteren en verspreidt zich, in kleermakerszit of leunend op de ellebogen, over de vloer van het atelier. Die effectenpanelen zijn leuk en aardig, maar het hoogtepunt is toch wel het gebruik van een schroevendraaier op de hals van zijn gitaar om een buitenaards zingend geluid te creëren. - 3VOOR12 (NL)

"Fluid Radio Album Review (2011)"

The subtle blend of shimmering guitar, brittle piano and haunting electronics, with the hushed whisper of Samson’s sweet voice results in a seamless album that is intricate and considered, and eerily mesmerizing. It’s rare to find an album so complete, so of itself. - Fluid Radio (UK)

"Boomkat Featured Download (2011)"

Berlin-based Will Samson presents a fragile blend of acoustic pop and ambient electronics through Japan’s Nature Bliss/PLOP records - home to music from Rod Modell and F.S. Blumm. ‘Hello Friends, Goodbye Friends’ is a very canny blend of falsetto vocals strongly reminding of Tom Krell’s HTDW album, with tender acoustic guitar, the most tingling brand of lo-fi electronics and decayed piano ambience. We can imagine quite a lot of people falling deeply in love with this release. Check! - Boomkat (UK)

"BBC Club Live! Review (London, 2008)"

When a man arrives on stage fresh from Tibet in a Tintin T-shirt and a North Face jacket, you know he means business, and Will Samson did not disappoint…

…something oceanic and transcendental for the rest of us – a different kind of soul music for the 21st century - BBC London

"OOR Magazine feature (print)"

Met de huidige populariteit van mensen als Bon Iver kan het bijna niet anders dan dat we ook van Will Samson nog veel gaan horen. Eind november betoverde hij met zijn liedjes de bezoekers in het Groninger Museum en in februari is hij weer in ons land.

Engligh: With the popularity of people like Bon Iver it will be without a doubt that we’ll hear a lot more from Will. Last November he spread his magic over Groningen and he’ll be back in our country this february. - OOR magazine


Balance (CD/LP) - 5th October 2012 - Karaoke Kalk

Hello Friends, Goodbye Friends (CD) - 2011 - Plop Records (Japan)


Happiness EP - 2008 - Self Released

Warm Winter Glow - 2009 - Self Released

Never Give Up - 2010 - Self Released



Just over one year after the release of his first vocal album Hello Friends, Goodbye Friends, 23 year old Will Samson presents a brand new album of his own personal fragile blend of experimental folk and ambient electronics.

However, with songs about a surreal overnight boat journey in South East Asia, paintings from a Dutch art gallery, to the simple love of a dear friend, Balance takes a confident step away from its predecessor in both feeling & sound.

The record began its life in Summer 2011, whilst Samson was living in a tiny bedroom in a shared apartment with 5 other people. One of whom was Joel Danell – a wonderful musician from Sweden making music under the pseudonym of ‘Musette’. When Joel moved back to Stockholm towards the end of the summer, he kindly left behind a collection of old cassettes, a Tascam 8-track and a cassette deck for tape mastering – it was then that Will set to work on some new songs.

“It didn’t take long before I became totally absorbed with the magic of analogue recording and the mysteries to be discovered within these ancient cassette tapes. Numerous nights were spent working through to the early morning, playing quietly so as not to wake up my house mates. On ‘Dusty Old Plane’ you can even hear the birds beginning to sing with the sunrise.” – Samson recalls.

Around September 2011 there were a few rough sketches of songs, but lack of equipment and recording knowledge had become a restriction. Around this time Will happened to receive an email from Florian Frenzel, expressing interest in helping to record some music. Shortly after, they casually met up at Florian’s home and became better acquainted over a few cups of tea – soon realising that they shared a mutual obsession/love for the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack, as well as many other musical (and non-musical) interests.

It was in Frenzel’s home studio (containing a multitude of vintage equipment such as salvaged organs, analogue tape delays, beautiful old microphones, home-made equipment, and even a reel-to-reel from a former GDR radio) where they began recording new songs, editing earlier cassette demos, drinking more tea, exchanging music & childhood stories, watching Autumn slowly turn into Winter – becoming great friends in the process.

By the beginning of Spring, the album was finally complete and handed over to their mutual friend, Nils Frahm, who lovingly mastered it at his Durton Studio in Berlin.

Floating in a gentle haze of melodies, soft white noise & intimate tape crackles, Balance manages to retain the spirit of the aged cassettes and equipment it was made with, whilst offering something altogether unique & new.

“The recording process of this album was a joyous one, and it is my sincere hope that you may find some happiness within these songs too.” – Will Samson

05th October saw the release of Balance via Karaoke Kalk, followed by European touring with Shearwater (US / Sub Pop) & Pinback (US / Temporary Residence). Will's tour schedule is set to continue well into 2013.