FFO: Bon Iver, James Vincent McMorrow, Sufjan Stevens

Take the soft croons of James Vincent McMorrow,  the cinematic atmospherics of Sufjan Stevens, and the gut-wrenching storytelling of Bon Iver, and you’ll have the essence of Harp Samuels‘ devastatingly tender slow burners.

Recent single ‘Breathe’ is the distillation of his hallmark sound, in which he combines celestial keyboard sounds, minimal percussion, and soothing vocals to create a lullaby of sorts. It’s this warm but sparse arrangement that allows time for the listener to reflect on the weight of his words as he seeks catharsis and redemption during the grieving of his late father.

Though many songwriters will have gone through similar tragedies in their lives, it takes a true artist to capture that raw vulnerability in their music. With ‘Breathe’, the Auzzie writer offers the kind of unfiltered honesty and life-affirming revelations that only the likes of McMorrow, Stevens, and Iver can attest to. If this title-track is anything to go by, his album may just see him catapult into the stratosphere of these illustrious songwriters.