The career of American country singer Sam Lewis started to gain momentum after he caught the attention of producer Matt Urmy at an open mic night in Nashville, Tennessee. Taking the aspiring artist under his wing, Urmy recruited a bunch of backing musicians and got him working on his first full length release. The resultant self-titled record arrived in 2012 to critical acclaim across the Atlantic.

Lewis went on to play plenty of shows around the US and Britain before returning to the studio to put together his latest endeavour, Waiting on You. The twelve track compilation takes off with “3-4 Time”, which skips in upon a cheerful beat and merry melody to establish an airy atmosphere. Sauntering nonchalantly onward, it keeps itself upbeat through its vivacious vocals and placid instrumentation.

“Love Me Again” paces along placidly afterwards, relaxing as it drifts delicately through the air. It’s a slow and soothing effort, whose heartfelt harmony is very earnest. “Waiting on You” succeeds it by way of a subtle acoustic riff that plays out across determined drums ahead of solemn and sincere vocals. It settles easily on the ears, remaining serene as it develops.

“She’s a Friend” is another extremely restrained offering, the warm instrumentation of which progresses peacefully beside a mellow melody. This forges a rather pensive piece. “Things Will Never be the Same” follows by jogging into a jazzy display of guitars and percussion, before catchy vocals join in during the verse. It’s an absorbing addition that’s as fast as it is fervent.

“Talk to Me” goes back in a more meditative direction, featuring a reserved riff amid expressive, honest vocals. The soft and sedate nature of the song is quite affecting. “Reinventing the Blues” arrives next via crisp acoustic guitars and playful piano keys that trot ardently along behind a forlorn but feisty melody. Its velocity increases as it unfolds, giving rise to a rousing rhythm that makes for a light listen.

“Never Again” heads down a sombre path once more, moving with its forlorn vocal tone and lamenting lyrics. The tranquil instrumentation is particularly poignant, stirring up plenty of emotion. “Texas” keeps things calm and quiet in its wake via subdued guitars and a resonant, reflective harmony. Its touching tune feels like a natural extension of its immediate predecessor.

“Little Time” adopts a much more jovial demeanour, sailing off upon reassuring instrumentation and an amiable melody. It takes its time developing, maintaining a lovely lazy attitude. “Virginia Avenue” continues the restful rhythm, showcasing nostalgic lyrics and aloof musical motifs, while “I’m Coming Home” exhibits an enthusiastic aura as it ends the album on a suitably sentimental note.

This sophomore outing from Sam Lewis is an easy-going and accessible undertaking that carries a lot of spirit. Its simple execution and harmless sound mean that it’s likely to appeal to a fairly wide audience.

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Sam Lewis - Waiting On You
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Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com