Review by Shannon Shumaker
Sammy Kay’s debut full-length album, Fourth Street Singers has a gritty rock-n-roll feeling to it that is hard to find in many new releases. This is an album that feels like summer; something you’d listen to on long drives, cruising down the highway with the windows down. In fact, listening to it makes me wish summer would just get here already.
The second that Kay’s gravely vocals come in on the first song on the album, I’m sold. His voice manages to tell a story, and its easy to get lost in the gorgeous melody of “You Ought To Know,” but even better is the upbeat tempo and harmonica in the following track, “Saints And Sinners.” The third song, “Your Way,” hosts some really great fast paced guitar work that makes you want to get out of your seat. By “Your Way,” Sammy Kay has already managed to tell a story with this album, and that’s just in the first three songs.
“Highs And Lows,” the fourth song on Fourth Street Singers is a total summer jam. The vocal harmonies are pretty, the bassline and the beat are strong and the melody is catchy, making it one of the strongest songs on the album and worth another listen just because it’s so damn catchy. The song also hosts some really great guitar work, as well. Following “Highs And Lows” is a much needed mellow interlude of sorts with “Forever and a Day,” which really speaks for Sammy Kay’s versatility. “Truth” follows “Forever and a Day” and just shows another side of Kay, with a more poppy (and nearly doo-wop at times) track, compared to is usual punk rock grittiness.
What makes Fourth Street Singers work is the fact that it’s not trying too hard to be unique or innovative or something it’s not, and because of that, it comes off as real, raw and incredibly romantic, in a sense. Fourth Street Singers is real music and that’s what works. The storytelling in Sammy Kay’s voice in love songs such as “Ship Wreck” or quiet acoustic songs like “Stay A While” is what gives this album so much life. Fourth Street Singers is a perfect mix of Americana and soul that is impossible not to fall in love with.
Listen to "Highs And Lows"