02 March 2018 (released)
02 March 2018
Released March 2nd on Caroline InternationalBorn in Edmonton, Canada. Relocated to Oxford, England at the age of 5. Sam Vance-Law’s first musical experience came at the age of 10 where he sang as part of the New College Choir. Performing at five services a week, while also studying music theory, the influence of his early choirboy days is clear to hear on his wide reaching debut album ‘Homotopia’.
At the age of 23 he returned to living in Europe. First settling in Paris, he soon after visited Berlin. Within 24 hours he had decided to he had to move there. During his time residing in Berlin he heard a friend say the word ‘Homotopia’ seemingly at random during a conversation. Instantly he decided it would make a great name for a record. And with the album title ready he then began searching for musicians, studios and engineers to create ‘Homotopia’ with.
Fast forward to 2018 and March 2nd sees the release of ‘Homotopia’. Recorded in Berlin with producer Konstantin Gropper (aka Get Well Soon), and following the release of a trip of singles (‘I Think We Should Take It Fast’, ‘Gayby’ and ‘Prettyboy’), it’s one of 2018 most creative debut albums. Across its 10 tracks it flows from modernist classical to witty pop. From the choral to the orchestral. From Prophet ’08 to piano narrative. From the chamber music of ‘Wanted To’ and the ornate balladry of ‘Stat, Rap.’ to the breathless indie of ‘Prettyboy’ and the charming ‘Gayby’, via the hallucinogenic sweep of ‘I Thing We Should Take It Fast’, the raging ‘Faggot’ and the satirical, sensitive ‘Narcissus 2.0’, ‘Homotopia’ demonstrates a combination of literate pop and classicist traditions. Handsome, witty, and lively in it’s delivery, collectively ‘Homotopia’ is a collection of songs that could comfortably site alongside should to shoulder with fellow originators like John Grant, The Magnetic Fields and Father John Misty.
Lyrically ‘Homotopia’ hits hard, telling the story of a gay man’s world in the 21st century. Exploring and exposing common homo-stereotypes. “I’d been frustrated by a few things, particularly the queer/gay music I’d been hearing,” Sam explains about the motivation behind the album. “It seemed to focus on two themes: victimhood and pride. I wanted to capture, through various narratives, some of the gay experience, as it is now, without judgement – so far as I was able – and perhaps to engender interest in those narratives and ways of being.”
Charming. Insightful. Challenging. ‘Homotopia’ is a gloriously kaleidoscopic pop record. Filled with Smiths-like indie, Leonard Cohen-like introversion, orchestral cresscendo’s and Rufus Wainwright-like extroversion, this is one of 2018s most creative debut releases, from one of 2018’s most interesting newcomers. A modern pop star challenging stereotypes and pushing musical boundaries.