The Last Mixed Tape reviews the long-awaited third studio album from Hamsandwich entitled Stories from the Surface.
The overwhelming feeling throughout Stories form the Surface is one of great change, a cathartic release of the past and unbridled anticipation for the possibilities the future may hold. In short, Hamsandwich’s third album is about life itself.
The enormous sense of urgency that fills every corner of Stories from the Surface speaks to this overall impression of renewed creativity and energy. In tracks like ‘To Replicate’ and ‘Fandango’, we hear a joyous celebration of what’s to come and cautious avoidance of mistakes that have long past.
The music of Stories from the Surface is a vivid one. Drawing from a wide-array of styles Hamsandwich forge together elements of funk, soul, folk and indie-rock to give each changing emotion its own specific sound and colour.
This results in an album that can incorporate the up-tempo disco of ‘Illuminate’ while also delving into the darker, more nuanced tension of ‘In Perfect Rhythms’ while never falling into uneven textural territory.
But the real zenith of Stories from the Surface comes from the moments where Hamsandwich use their natural musicianship to express vibrant passages of elation. Found within the twinkling piano and weaving strings of ‘Satellite’, these moments feel enthralling and gratifying to behold.
Albums can be one-whole experience, a snapshot of where we are and where we’d like to be. For many they can encapsulate a specific moment or an entire phase in our lives, one lost in time that only resurfaces when a certain song hits our ears.
Stories from the Surface is that kind of record, in a mere 10 songs Hamsandwich cover all the emotion, longing and desire they have felt and undergone in the five-year period since White Fox and deliver their best work to date. Brilliant.
Stories from the Surface by Hamsandwich is out now.