I first saw Sam Cash play at in Toronto roughly 8 years ago – I honestly can’t remember where right now – but if I had to guess, Cameron House. I remember instantly becoming a fan. Something about his brand of jangly rock and roll reminded me of early Elvis Costello records. Pairing well-crafted energetic rock songs with an undertone of nervous anxiety really spoke to me. The album Stand Together, Fall Together stayed in my car’s cd player until the next album Tongue-In-Cheek Vows took its place a few years later. I’ve made it a point to see Sam Cash with or without The Romantic Dogs perform whenever and wherever I can – which has been a lot. Anytime I’ve seen him working behind the bar at The Dakota he’s always very polite and gracious when I’d make inquiries about potential new music and when we might hear it. I am a very impatient lover of music and always crave more.
I waited and waited for what seemed like forever… and finally it arrived this September in the form of a stunning record called This City.
Sam, now going by his birth name Sameer Cash, has thoughtfully created a fresh new aesthetic to go along with this new record. It would be a disservice to call this new look and vibe a rebranding – that’s too simple. I’d say it’s more apt to call it the work of an artist evolving and putting his growth on display or maybe just being comfortable in their own skin. Whatever it is, we are all in on the evolution of Sameer Cash because it has definitely paid off.
This City is easily one of the best records of 2020. Very few records released during this pandemic have felt quite as authentic. I won’t pretend to know exactly what all the lyrics are about – but at its core this record feels like the love/hate relationship we all have with our hometown. Comfort and frustration are probably two words that easily come to mind when I think about mine – and Sameer Cash’s loathed and beloved Toronto is at the centre of This City.
Sadly, with the pandemic still going strong we won’t get to see Cash perform this record live until such time as it can be done safely. Until that time let This City be the soundtrack for your comfort and frustration.