2014 – Forty Below Records
By Phillip Smith; Aug. 9, 2014
Ephemeral, the debut album from singer/songwriter Sam Morrow is anything but ephemeral. Before I had finished listening to the first of ten songs, “War”, I knew this album was something special. Singing country-flavored roots songs with a sharp edge of truth, Morrow’s voice reminds me a bit of Eddie Vedder’s. Morrow delves deep into his own experiences, revisiting the often unpleasant obstacles life blindly tosses around like little grenades.
Setting the tone for the rest of the album, “War”, invites the listener into Morrow’s melancholy world with despairing lyrics about a husband and father who looks to the bottle for happiness. Morrow shows great range as a vocalist and writer in the heart wrenchingly beautiful song, “Old Soul”, about the hurt of lost love, and the self-destructive thoughts which go along with it. “Run” seems to pick up where “Old Soul” leaves off, leaving thoughts of self-destruction behind and replacing them with feelings of anger and declarations of love. I’m really drawn to its haunting melody, fortified with a cool drum cadence and symphonic strings. In a Tom Waits fashion, Morrow reexamines the broken relationship with booze, after two years of sobriety, in “December”, a song of reconstruction, remembering and longing. This softly played guitar and violin tune tugs on my heart strings.
Ephemeral is such a beautifully constructed album of brutal honesty, I can’t get enough of it. Morrow shines as a writer and performer, and I highly recommend this album.