Following on from the release of his debut single 'Less Shoulders, More Coping' in the summer of 2020, emerging producer and songwriter Sam Masters aka Smotherly Love recently returned to deliver his brilliant debut EP 'Predestinate Grooves'.
Taking his cues from the psych-rock intentions of Tame Impala and Toro Y Moi, 'Predestinate Grooves' makes for a wonderfully rich and spiritual collection. Filled to the brim with lofty production, sweeping melodies, and some brilliantly woozy vocals, his new release cements him as a true talent to keep an eye on for the year ahead.
So with the new EP doing the rounds right now, we sat down with him to find out more about his background and what has inspired him most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Boringly and predictably the acoustic guitar, I learnt piano in a traditional way as a kid, so when I moved to playing a guitar, I could finally play the music I was actually listening to rather than my sketchy versions of Chopin or whatever. I had an ‘Argos Special’ the cheapest nastiest nylon string thing, but it did the trick.
What was the first song that inspired you to make your own music?
I think it was actually a collection of smaller indie ‘solo’ musicians releases, made me realise I didn’t necessarily need other people all the time to write and record. People like BC Camplight, showed me that you can just go out and do it.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
I was peak indie kid so therefore any band with guitars were life back then. I think you have to be honest about why some of the more embarrassing bands you listened to grabbed your attention. Everyones lying if they list all the ‘cool’ bands from their childhood, everyones got musical skeletons in their closet.
What do you find is the best environment to find inspiration for your music?
I walk my dog alone a lot and actually find it a good mind clearing exercise, I write down ideas as they come to me on my phone as I go, and this makes me excited to get back into my home studio and try to convert those ideas and energy into something.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
I was recently recommended Aero Flynn - Madeline and have been playing that a lot recently. A weird Russian psych band called Gnoomes have been fun to listen to, and for quieter moments I love Florist, and Emily Alone is a beautiful album from a few years ago.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
My songs are very much ego trips, focused purely on myself and my own experiences. Write about what you know they say.
What has been the most unusual moment in your career so far?
Career is maybe be overselling it a bit, but certainly one I was happiest/most surprised by was getting radio play on BBC introducing.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Tame Impala, look its a dull answer, but man its gonna be great, even if I suck before he plays.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I've enjoyed drawing and making pictures and things, I actually did the artwork for the E.P. so maybe something in that vein.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Not everything you write is gonna be good, or sound good straight away, but DON'T delete or discard it, you never know when your gonna dip back in and use bits from it on work that is good! I have files and files of projects, which, when I'm fishing for inspiration I pull up and try find bits I like, riffs, beats or vocal phrases, and often the end up on totally new songs.
Smotherly Love's debut EP 'Predestinate Grooves' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in full via the player below.