Smotherly Love is the solo project of Sam Masters, an indie-psychedelia from the less fake-tanned parts of Essex. While he has been writing and recording for years, he used the time during lockdown to sculpt some finished tracks. Together with remote drummer Wayne Thompson, he has released his first single ‘Less Shoulders, More Coping’.
The song is a shimmering take on the delicate balance between arrogance and confidence. It also looks at how this is a veneer we use to hide behind. There are inward leaning lyrics with nods to different musical genres including trip-hop and jazz.
‘Less Shoulders, More Coping’ uses a hazy opening full of shimmering guitars to get you into the vibe. This turns into a wavering melody that is full of psychedelic tones and weaving notes that leave you floating along to the rhythm. The entrance of the buzzing synths is gentle and smooth while dissonant notes fall in and out. All the notes in the melody carry the same balance that makes up the core message of the lyrics.
As the melody pulls you along a hazy colourful path, Masters’ vocals add an echoing ethereal layer. His performance is tweaked and tuned to match the wavering melody and creates a multi-level experience. The lyrical structure of the song works so well within this well of psychedelia. They have this great introspective quality while still being expansive enough to not be lost in this all-encompassing track.
Smotherly Love lays down a delicate balance in the melody, lyrics and message of ‘Less Shoulders, More Coping’. The blast of mild psychedelia is hazy and echoing while penetrating in its message. The electronic notes and tuned vocals balance each other to create a pleasurable listening experience.