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Sinking Boats | Sam Brookes

Sinking Boats is the second single to be taken from Sam Brookes forthcoming album Black Feathers (23 October, Go Slowly Records).

Whilst the first single Ekarma (July 2020) showcased the stirring melancholy and exquisitely hypnotic side of the forthcoming album, Sinking Boats represents the more sonically vigorous end, where layered percussive mastery and a psych-folk-blues fusion recall John Martyn’s Solid Air. An array of guest musicians add to the song’s rich, full sound, including acclaimed fiddle player Sam Sweeney on nyckelharpa, with Brookes’ magnificent vocal, which has been likened to Jeff Buckley and Bon Iver, soaring above.

Sinking Boats is accompanied by the second in a trilogy of cinematic videos featuring a sinister crow character, inspired by Max Porters book ‘Grief Is A Thing With Feathers’ and directed by Helena Middleton. The girl in the video represents the next generation that is waking up to a world that is run by money and greed with The Crow an insidious being trying to tempt her to have trust in this failing system. As Brookes expands “She does her best to play the game but not be manipulated by the fear that he tries to use against her.”

Sam Brookes describes his new album Black Feathers as “a meditation on grief.” It explores loss experienced by Brookes in the 6 years since the release of his hugely acclaimed last album Kairos (2014), loss he experienced either directly or empathetically. On Sinking Boats it is the latter explored, with the song inspired by the fate of Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi. As Brookes expands: I was deeply affected by the image of the 3-year-old’s body washed up after drowning trying to cross the Mediterranean. I found myself wanting to do more but feeling powerless. Sometimes I feel like the world is full of sinking boats and this song imagines a society that cares enough to rescue the innocents aboard them.”

Sinking Boats was written by Sam Brookes, recorded at the Bert Jansch Studio in the Somerset countryside, produced and mixed by Dom Monks, and mastered by Matt Colton at Metropolis Studios, Chiswick.

Sinking Boats is out as a digital single on 28th August with Sam Brookes’ new album Black Feathers following on 23 October on Go Slowly Records on CD, 12 inch vinyl and digitally.