If you’re unfamiliar with UK folk punk Sam Russo but you’re a fan of some of the artists he’s shared the stage with like Frank Turner, Tim Barry, and Lucero, then you probably are gonna wanna hear Sam and his new album Back to the Party too. He probably especially gets compared to his likeminded UK neighbor Frank Turner, but I also hear hints of Against Me!, more emo-y acoustic stuff like Dashboard Confessional, and sometimes he sounds like a folk punk version of blink-182 or Alkaline Trio. (And actually, he’s toured with Alkaline Trio’s Dan Andriano too.) He definitely sounds like he’s absorbed hundreds of ’90s and early 2000s punk records, but he spits it back out in a way that sounds original. But don’t take our word for it, take the word of an actual ’90s punk icon, Brendan Kelly:
Sam Russo has one of those voices that feels like comfort food on your ears. From the moment the verse of “Purple Snow” hits, something in Sam’s voice makes me feel like I’m home. In fact, even if Sam’s songs completely sucked, he’d still be blessed with this amazing voice and gift for writing lyrics straight out of some BBC prestige drama about bleary, grey factory streets that are also somehow about falling in love with the world. Luckily, Sam’s songs fuuuuucking rule. Even though he’s technically an acoustic artist, he packs enough meat and potatoes into each song that they hit with the heft of full band type shit, and then some. He’s one of the best there ever will be and I’m so proud to just be tangentially associated with him in any regard. Also, this motherfucker looks like a wizard.
There you have it! You can pick up Back to the Party from the Red Scare webstore and stream it below, and we’re also premiering the video for “The Basement,” which stars someone dressed in a bed sheet as a ghost. Sam says:
“The Basement” is a song about feeling left behind. I wrote it while working at my old school. I went into the file room and dug out my old photo and my college record and looked at the pictures of all my friends and just felt so amazingly lonely and lost. Musically I wanted to write something they would like. Something to make them feel transported back to school. Chino Moreno style. The song is an apology, a celebration, a way of forgiving yourself.
The video was so much fun to make. Me, my girlfriend Clare and my good buddy Swaby shot it in sequence in one day at a bunch of spots all over my hometown. Just a lonely ghost looking for a home. Garth Vickers edited it and he saved the best for last because you get to see me break my wrist in the final shot. Enjoy!