Sam Welch sings about emotional disfunction in ‘Girl On
By John Hacker
Sam Welch lives at home with his cats, and the cats aren’t the best singers, so Welch, who loves to harmonize in his music has learned the art of singing his own harmonies and mixing them together on the computer.
Combine that with the piano playing he’s honed since he was a child and other instruments he’s picking up over time and you have the ingredients for the deep and soulful music on Welch’s 12-track LP, “Girl On Vacation.”
Welch said disfunction is part of his music and you can hear it in the industrial-sounding songs like the title track, or ‘Wipe The Slate Clean,” or “Blue and Black,” all of which have received extensive radio play across the country.
“One of the reasons I chose ‘Wipe Clean the Slate’ and ‘Blue and Black’ is they did very well with my radio spins,” Welch said. “I got like 14,000 spins on each of those in 2022, so they were very popular.”
Welch said these songs, as with much of his music, explore things that interest him, such as emotional disfunction, spiritual transcendence, and what happens when people die.
“It’s kind of like if you had a Venn diagram of spiritual stuff and emotional stuff, spiritual stuff being related to the theme of transcendence and what happens when we die — basically what is death — overlapping with the idea that people have sort of intrinsically based mental disfunction,” Welch said. “Those are the two themes and they kind of overlap, they’re in all my songs, that’s what I write about. I’m sort of fascinated about the idea of what happens when we die, what is death. I am sort of an existentialist and I kind of have to question these things.”
In his song “Factory Reset,” Welch explores the idea of mental health treatment being like hitting the reset button for a person’s mental battery and the arranger he used to mix his harmonies and make the song gave his voice a metallic, robotic sound.
“Everybody has these occasional factory resets we have to go through,” he said. “The thing about that album is I had a Korg workstation that was kind of a little bit finicky. The vocal doubling system was sort of robotic, it had kind of a robotic sound to it so when you sing into it, it kind of robotizes the note differences so it sounds more synthesized.
“You’ll hear that a lot in songs like ‘Factory Reset’ and the good things with that in that song is that it goes along well with the theme of ‘Factory Reset’ because you’ve got this sort of computerized voice telling you about mental health issues.”
Welch said he tries to put out one album a year, and he’s well on his way to completing the album for 2023, using some new tricks and new instruments.
“I've started using an autoharp for my next album, which is a fun thing to do,” he said. “It’s a new instrument for me, I’m going to really be making some inroads into that element in probably the next month or so. I’m working on getting up to speed with the autoharp to combine that possibly with the harmonization's just to see how that sounds.”
Be sure to follow Sam Welch and his label, Final Orbit, on all the music streaming and social media platforms:
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