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As Sam Cash grows, so too does his music and songwriting. Written and recorded when he was just 19 years old, his 2011 debut,Teenage Hunger, showcased a songwriter finding his voice and sound amongst a bustling Canadian music scene where it’s artists were all striving to make themselves known.
Cash struggled to find the right dynamic between honest original songwriting, and paying homage to some of his favorite Canadian songwriters—like Jason Collett, Joel Plaskett and Bahamas—ultimately releasing a collection of fairly “Canadiana” roots-folk songs. Departing from Teenage Hunger’s “Canadiana” sound, Cash’s new album, Stand Together, Fall Together,reveals a much more mature artist, someone who has discovered his own unique voice. These songs are scrappy without feeling unrehearsed, spirited without bombast, and above all honestly written. Rather than using the lengthy approach for his first album—which featured talented friends like Serena Ryder, Hayden, Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas), and Neil Quin (Zeus)—these songs were recorded over a few days at Dale Morningstar’s Gas Station Studio on Toronto Island (Gord Downie, Thrush Hermit, Julie Doiron) with his band The Romantic Dogs (Aaron Comeau, Matt Bailey, Kyle Sullivan) in an unprecedented amount of time, live off the floor. All it took was a few overdubs and touch ups to get the desired feel for the album—pure unadulterated rock and roll. Cash’s goal was to release something that sounded fresh and unique. He wanted to remind the listeners of a time when the sheer energy of a band was as important as the stark songwriting.
Stand Together, Fall Together is a great example of how Cash can walk the fine line between pop/rock mainstream accessibility and authentic songwriting, all while maintaining a gritty, honest angst often seen in most 21 year olds, but rarely as targeted and honed as Cash’s . As the title suggests, these songs have a theme of unity to them, of brotherhood, and sticking together through the tough times. Written in the last year, these songs reflect on love, loss and friendship within the larger theme of growing up and understanding the responsibilities and consequences of one’s adult actions.
While holding down a job and attending university full time, Cash has worked hard at honing his songwriting craft, gigging whenever and wherever he can, sometimes studying for exams at the bar before soundcheck. The past year has been an exciting one for Cash, from getting great reviews in Exclaim magazine and supportive endorsements from the likes of Hawksley Workman, to sharing the stage with great acts like The Arkells, The Skydiggers, LIGHTS, Al Tuck and Jim Cuddy. Cash is quickly building a loyal fan base, and if Stand Together, Fall Together is any indication, he has a promising career ahead of him.
“Sam Cash’s songwriting captures a youthful angst, filtered through a compassionate eye… confident, natural use of simple, eloquent language that you’d expect from someone with many more years behind them”
–Hawksley Workman (Juno award winning singer-songwriter)