Today in our ears, we have a young alt-rock band based out of New York, US. We’re listening to Samsara’s latest single, awake.
Formed in 2018 whilst still in high school, Samsara sound to us like a band on a mission. The band members are Dylan Trif on vocals, Charlie LoMonaco on guitar, John DeVito on bass, Brendan Sandoval on guitar, and Ben Bustamante on drums.
Awake starts with some reverb drenched electric guitar before fairly quickly moving into a heavy rock driven sound that is reminiscent of Everlong – Foo Fighters. As we listened further, we realised that Samsara sound a little like a slightly darker and heavier version of Foo Fighters.
There’s some superb stereo and panning in the guitars that fill out the soundscape fantastically. We have to note some absolutely superb musicianship in this track. Every member of the band is playing their hearts out and its pretty obvious that Samsara are going places. There’s a confidence and a self belief in the musicianship but without any arrogance that often goes hand in hand with a young band. Samsara are, quite simply, destined for bigger things.
We absolutely love the break down section with toms and bass with vocals over the top. In fact, the work on toms throughout the song really is sublime.
At around 2 minutes 45s you’re treated to a unique and ethereal section with swirling guitars and just a moment of chill before Awake launches back into a full song that just builds and builds and builds.
From a mixing perspective, we feel that the vocals are lost in several places throughout the song. The band mention in their press release that vocals were recorded in a bathroom and to be fair, it does kinda sound like that! They don’t sit quite right with the rest of the track and although we can hear he really is quite a stunning vocalist, there just a little lack of presence in the vocal track.
Production wise, our suggestions would be to add a shelf cut of the lowest 3 octaves, especially around 100Hz. We feel the track is just a little too dominating in the bass frequencies. A little cut around 1200-1400Hz, a boost around 4kHz and a shelf boost of the top 1.5 octaves will add some balance and brightness to the track and make it stand out even more.
Honestly, its rare to find a young band with this level of musicianship. Awake has been well scored, well written and well performed. We can only imagine how much attention they will be garnering once their feet are well and truly under the table. Go see them live in a small venue while you still have chance.