With his EP Soulmate, Sam McLeod brings together a handful of love songs he has written over the past 10 years. Using his own relationships and marriage as the basis of the tracks, he moves from the start of a relationship to getting married and starting a family. Through the tracks, he is able to capture the truth of love, the sweetness of tender moments and the silly times you share with a loved one.
While McLeod draws on his own romantic experiences for the EP, there is a commonality to the topics and emotions that lets anyone connect with the tracks. His first EP since returning from a musical hiatus, it showcases not only the depth of emotion in his music but also how his sound has progressed. Since releasing an EP in 2015, he took a break after moving overseas and only started releasing new music again last year.
The EP opens with ‘Tiny/Little’ which was the first song that he wrote for his wife when he was 16 and wanted to ask her out. The gentle taps of the beats in the opening softly lead you into the track that gains an ambient overlayer reaching out toward the horizon. There is an innocent tenderness to this track that you can feel through the arrangement and lyrics. The vocals are as hazy as the ambient tones as they reach through a soft cloudscape to tenderly get your attention. There is a soft question in the lyrics that capture the essence of the start of a relationship and is woven into all the reasons why you are drawn to someone.
‘iwantu’ takes the next step in the journey of relationships while touching on the struggles and utter bliss that comes from being with someone you love. The lightness of the opening track is retained in the tender guitar movements. McLeod’s vocals have a light sigh to them that leads you into a folky movement. Through the vocal performance, you are drawn into the struggles we all face in relationships, but this is tempered with the knowledge that the feeling you get from being together is worth everything. The lyrics detail the interplay between two people within a relationship and the bite of hurt that is soothed by the bliss of tender affection.
The chord progression opening of ‘You, Me & Everything’ is encapsulated in a dreamy haze of ambient tones. You can feel the cotton soft touch of the music that puts a gentle smile on your face. Through the melodic arrangement, McLeod has created the floating bliss of happiness that you feel when around someone you love. While the song was written for a friend’s wedding, the emotions and tenderness of the sound transcend this single moment. There is a deep connection woven into the song that threads through your chest and lifts you on a cloud of fragrant euphoria.
The EP closes with ‘Baby Love’ which captures the entire journey of a relationship over a long period of time. The humming vocals in the opening draw you into the folky flow of the vocals that reach out into the distance. Through the lyrics, you are taken on a journey of 10 years from dating to marriage and having kids. While the song is rich in folk tones, there is a crackle of electronic tones that seem to giggle in the background adding an amazing texture. The overall tenderness of the EP is perfectly encapsulated in this track and fills your chest with happy vibes. It is impossible to listen to this track and not feel light and happy by the end.
Sam McLeod uses the tracks of Soulmate to take listeners on a journey through tender emotions, relationships and time. Each track has the gentle touch of affection woven into each note as his vocals fill you with the underlying emotions of each moment of a relationship. Overall, the EP is a soft cloud of sound that lifts your spirits and fills your senses with the happiness that only comes when you are around loved ones.