Following the smooth Arctic Monkey’s inspired groove of his track ‘Philosophy’, Sam Syrah (pronounced ‘Sah-rah’) delves into the experience of sudden and tragic loss. Out on March 10, ‘Love Hurt’, the latest track from the Meanjin/Brisbane indie-rocker floods emotion.
A previous member of a range of Brisbane outfits, Sam Syrah is the solo project of Sam Shepherd joined by friends from bands including Juno and Port Royal. Shepherd’s evolution within the music industry is captured through poetic and personal storytelling wrapped up in a gleaming indie folk-rock sound.
Originally what was a coming-of-age love song, ‘Love Hurt’ took on a new meaning after Shepherd experienced the immense loss and grief of a dear friend. With a new direction for the track, the instrumental took on characteristics and tones of The Red Hot Chili Peppers whilst in the studio.
‘Love Hurt’ opens with a gentle guitar riff and Shepherd’s warm, isolated vocals. Accompanied by honeyed keys and steady drums, an array of emotions engulfs the bridge before exploding into what sounds instrumentally triumphant but lyrically solemn chorus.
Within the bridge, Shepherd sings “Well I’m a little angry, how are you? Too busy howling at the moon. What is it angels do?”. Capturing the totalling emotions of sadness, anger, regret and confusion that make up the loss of a loved one is felt by the booming vocals.
Reflecting on ‘Love Hurt’, Shepherd recalls his dear friend Jesse that passed and how sentimental the single has become.
“My longest and dearest friend – Jesse – passed away in a fatal bike accident on January 16 2022 at approximately 6 pm. It was a Sunday. I was in the studio all day that day. We’d been playing phone tag all day that day…
“I’d written ‘Love Hurt’ before Jesse’s passing. However, when it came to recording, things had significantly changed. On the day I was doing vocals, I felt a heaviness in the room. As if there was another body in there with us.”
Shepherds’ gorgeous sound and engrossing, heartfelt lyricism have been recognised on past releases, seeing support from the likes of Scenestr, Livewire AU, AAA Backstage and a wide range of Australian community radio stations.
‘Love Hurt’ out Friday, 10 March is a testament to the refined art of Sam Syrah.