EP Walkthrough: Samsaruh on her debut EP, Elysian
On the Melbourne musician's debut EP, she proves that she's come along way since her first single.
Header image by Michelle Grace Hunder.
We talk about growth and evolution a lot on Pilerats, and a large reason for that is because it's important in ensuring an artist has longevity in their career. Sure, artists can go their whole career blossoming on a tried-and-tested sound that wins people over time and time again, but when you're an artist with a lack of dedicated fan-base trying to capture a new crowd with every release, being versatile and able to adapt is a big thing - and it's something Samsaruh has. When we first met via her 2017 debut single Golden to Thrive, the Melbourne musician looked set to fall within a somewhat inescapable singer-songwriter category - good enough that she'll always cause a bit of a stir with every release, but just not 'unique' enough to do anything remarkably special to see her break-out.
However, if there's one thing that Samsaruh has proved in the two years since Golden to Thrive, it's that she's something different, and that line of thinking is well, well off the mark. Since 2017, Samsaruh has flourished into an artist capable of adapting to any changing music scene and incoming trend, remaining authentic in her music - every Samsaruh song has a distinct, signature touch; a refined mark, I guess - no matter what she attempts. Through features with Just A Gent and FORD MISKIN, she's proved that she's able to mould her vocal around hard-hitting electronic beats and thick, sometimes over-dominating productions, while also on the features card, she has a track with heavy rock group Hands LIke Houses - I think that says enough. In her own work, however, you can still trace this evolution as an artist. Throughout the years, she's tackled everything from guitar-fuelled indie-rock to subtle electronic-backed ballads, her vocal either soaring or gently bobbing above no matter what sound she attempts.
It's something prevalent on her debut EP too, which with its arrival today independently, really sets Samsaruh forward as an enticing figure in Australian pop on the edge of a national break-out. Not willing to be held into a box, the five-track release - titled Elysian - sees Samsaruh span genres and sounds, whether it be the dreamy, down-tempo new arrival Million Years, or the previously-released Powerlines, a fierce, driving track worked on alongside Holy Holy's Oscar Dawson. It's cliché, but there's truly something for everyone on Elysian, and where artists occasionally flail when attempting new sounds, Samsaruh seems to triumph - a sure sign that she's something special.
Ahead of an east coast run of dates throughout August (more information and tickets HERE), Samsaruh has walked us through the EP's creation and themes one track at a time, breaking it down and giving us a look into what's sure to be one of the year's most captivating debut Australian EPs. Dive into it below:
Crash Boom Pow! was super fun to make. Unlike any of my other tracks I’ve released before, I just wanted to create a song that was light-hearted and fun to jam to, something that reminds you of summer. Oscar and I hit record and just started jamming and before we even knew it, we had the full song in the first ten mins. With each song that I make, I always have a vision, if the song could be captured into one photo, what would it look like. So picture this: You’re in the middle of a hot summer festival mosh pit, the sun is burning like it’s never burnt before but it’s all g cause there’s that 2 second breeze of air every now and then that you and your mates unspokenly convince yourselves is enough to survive along with your cold bev in one hand. Now you’re on someone’s shoulders and there’s an ocean of people all vibing to the same beat as you and right in this moment, you are on top of the whole damn world. That’s the exact moment I wanted to capture.
Powerlines has got an even balance of angst and heart. This song for me, was exactly about that ‘balance’. Whether it’s with your ride or die, a partner in crime or just you as an individual, everything has some sort of balance. "You love your control and I love my powerlines." The main message of this song is, 'hey look, we’re both kind of messed up in our own ways, I’m happy to put up with your shit so long as you put up with mine, and whether our heart remains for 1000 years or we drop dead tomorrow, at least we’ve enjoyed the ride.'
Glory Days - When it’s our time to go, what do we take with us? Our memories. This is what Glory Days is about. The young at heart, the one whos live precariously, they got pockets overflowing with stories, the forever youthful. I’m always trying to figure out how to reach that eternal happiness, cause at the end of the day that’s the only thing that matters and so I have come to the conclusion that we only have one life and people are constantly worried about being extra cautious and wrap everything in bubble wrap to ensure we live our longest life and I think that’s wrong. Life is not about how long we live it, it’s about the fullest we live it to. Glory days was born to be the soundtrack of those exact moments.
I Guess That Makes Two is vulnerable in a way I’ve never shown before. As an individual, I find myself constantly having to remind myself that there is strength in vulnerability. "How is your breathing? Could I put it on hold for you. You know that’s something that I could do." The person I am predicts thunder before it rains, sends warnings of strength when there is nothing to warn, is plain and simple, afraid of taking a bullet to the heart. So with this song, I wanted it to be a reminder to myself that I am allowed to be vulnerable and to the person it’s written for, a reminder that just because I am vulnerable, doesn’t mean I am weak. This song meant a lot when making it, Oscar and I again, wrote this one in the first 10 mins and within the first couple shots got the full vocal take which is what you hear when you listen to the track.
Million Years has been kept under my sleeve for three years now. It was written around the same time as Golden To Thrive and Beautiful Killer. When listening to this song and reading the lyrics, initially it comes off as a love song, and it is. But not in the way you probably think it is. It is about the burning love of life, to live, to breath, to laugh, to cry and to just be. There are many different kinds of love, whether it be the love for your family, a love for life, a love towards an individual, a love within yourself.. And this song touches on all of it. "A million years is never enough."
Tour Dates (tickets HERE):
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