Serious Sam Barrett Plants “The Seeds of Love” on Forthcoming LP
There are not many artists like Serious Sam Barrett. His entire style, vibe, and aesthetic have a charming, old world feel, particularly on his latest Long Player The Seeds of Love, available everywhere on September 16.
Oftentimes, the songs are just a bloke and his guitar (12 string, that is), though on many occasions it’s a banjo. He’s hitting vocals, of course, with a tenor that’s well adapted to the melodies and cadence of the days of yore. But that’s pretty much as far as it goes for the music on this project, although there is a hint of percussion on “Drowsy Sleeper” in which it sounds like he was pounding on something while in the vocal booth.
A lot of the appeal of this type of material is rooted in the United Kingdom sensibilities the musician and singer exude on these tunes. We’re not just talking about his accent, which is readily apparent after the first song or so. But, when’s the last time you heard anyone or anything called ‘bonny’? The adjective is widely used throughout the lyrics (and not just on the springtime ode “Bonny May”), as are other distinctly UK terms such as ‘lad’, ‘tis’, and more.
One thing that’s indubitable throughout this10-track affair is Barrett’s cogency. He’s not termed Serious Sam for nothing. Bereft of the conventional production fluff dominating your average rhythm and blues song today, for instance, his voice is the sole carrier of these songs. He’s got a penchant for hitting high notes and an inflection that doesn’t fail, particularly on numbers like “Bushes and Briars” which stands out for its simplicity.
With Barrett helming the few instruments on display on this project, it was produced by James Atkinson. Thematically, the album sticks close to rebirth and regeneration of the vernal time of year that’s ideal for all seeding, even that of love. There’s songs about April (“Was on an April Morning) and May (see above), as well as other verdant subjects like “Blow Away the Morning Dew”. These naturalistic themes persist on “Three Ravens” as well, providing the fodder for some heartfelt lyrics and art about the timeless topic of love.