The genesis of Kentuckian Sam Filiatreau’s new record is one of chance and good fortune. A last-minute house show gig that just so happened to be in front of the right guys—Taylor Meier and Matt Vinson, who were on their way to AAA stardom with their band Caamp—led to a quick friendship and mutual respect which eventually landed Filiatreau the first spot on Meier’s new record label, Gjenny Records. All that to say, none of it would’ve happened if it weren’t for the sheer magnitude of Filiatreau’s songs and the way he sings them; a catchy blend of the lyricism of ‘70s vinyl with the acoustic feel of Appalachian folk music. On June 1st, Filiatreau’s self-titled debut album will be released to the world and a grand circle will be completed. Yesterday, American Songwriter premiered “Wrecking Ball,” an effortless indie-two-step which, in Sam’s words, “is a nod to the old time music I’ve always been so drawn to.” But, like the rest of Filiatreau’s tunes, there’s a clever, quirky depth that might be missed on the first listen. American Songwriter notes, "Without saying too much, the artist’s stripped-back styling elicits a certain unifying nostalgia—even the empty spaces still brim with emotion." Fans can hear the single now at this link.
On the night of their chance encounter with Filiatreau, Meier and Vinson immediately began plotting how to move forward. Thirty seconds into Sam’s set, the two looked at each other across the room in agreeance; we have to do something with this guy. Meier remembers, “Matt walked over and said, ‘We take him to a cabin. I record it. You produce it.” And that’s exactly what came to pass over the course of three days in a cabin near Athens, Ohio. “Taylor, Matt, and I went up there for three days and disassembled this living room and got it the way that we wanted it. We brought a bunch of instruments and worked out the songs there,” says Filiatreau. “I’d sent them some home demos to give an idea of some of the songs we might do. But when we got there, I just started playing songs for them, figuring out which ones were ready. We slept there, then woke up and would hang out if we wanted to. There was a swimming pool so we’d go swimming. Play some songs, take a break. It was the first time I’d been able to take my time, even though three days isn’t a lot of time. We were living with the record.”
In those three days, the trio—Meier played drums and Vinson, bass—expertly crafted eight songs embodying their experience. Filiatreau’s partner, Maggie Halfman, came up on the third day to provide harmony vocals, and just like that, they were done; a decidedly laissez-faire excursion that matched Sam’s approach to writing the album in the first place. “I don’t have a theme, other than it is honest and not trying too hard,” says Filiatreau. “I feel like whenever I’m writing songs or music, I’m trying to find that fine line of doing something well, but also not taking it too seriously. To me, this record feels loose and fun. It feels exactly like the time we had at that cabin, which is cool. I feel like we captured exactly what was going on there.”
Sam Filiatreau Tracklist:
Hold The Door
Fine By Me