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Sam Fender - Hypersonic Missiles

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Hypersonic Missiles

Sam Fender

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In the two-and-a-half years between his first single, the urgent and atmospheric "Play God," and the release of his full-length debut in 2019, much was made of U.K. singer and songwriter Sam Fender's relatively young age -- 23 by the arrival of the latter. After all, he was drawing frequent comparisons to influence Bruce Springsteen, both for the sound of his early singles and for the working-class compassion on display in his lyrics, and he won the Critics' Choice Brit Award in late 2018, an honor previously bestowed upon, among others, Adele and Sam Smith. He opened for Bob Dylan and Neil Young in Hyde Park in July of 2019, two months before the arrival of Hypersonic Missiles. Recorded in his own studio in his hometown outside of Newcastle, and produced by his longtime friend, engineer Bramwell Bronte, its 13 songs include "Play God" as well as selections from his 2018 EP, Dead Boys. Fender's sticky melodies, assertive tone, and gritty guitar hooks are evident from the opening moments of the title track, a song that offers lines like "Dutch kids huff balloons in the parking lot/The golden arches illuminate the business park/I eat myself to death, feed the corporate machine." Its rousing chorus asks, "When the bombs drop, darling/Can you say that you've lived your life?" Later, the striking "White Privilege" is a voluble entry along the lines of a more-ruminative "It's the End of the World as We Know It" or "We Didn't Start the Fire." It goes on record with: "The patriarchy is real; the proof is here in my song." Hypersonic Missiles isn't all political; romantic interests and the healing powers of music are also topics at hand. In fact, as the album unfolds and traverses sociopolitical angst, romantic infatuation ("Call Me Lover"), and the urge to let loose (the infectious "Saturday"), it reveals itself to be a fitting soundtrack to the weekend, addressing hopes and frustrations with a persistent intensity and rousing melodies that fall in line with the catharsis at hand. The album ends with an impressive live performance (the piano ballad "Use"), which demonstrates that Fender's soaring vocals are just as authentic as his sentiments. Taken altogether, Hypersonic Missiles is smart, passionate, and loaded with rock-solid anthems that surpass the "promising" designation.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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Hypersonic Missiles

Sam Fender

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1
Hypersonic Missiles
00:03:58

Rich Costey, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dean Thompson, Guitar, Recording Engineer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - John Waugh, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Joseph Atkinson, AssociatedPerformer, Synth Pads - Joe Atkinson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Drew Michael, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - KT Pipal, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Fender, Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Pale White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Recording Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - A Festival A Parade, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Heidi Curtis, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Ungerer, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2019 Sam Fender

2
The Borders
00:05:32

Rich Costey, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dean Thompson, Engineer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Joseph Atkinson, Engineer, Synthesizer, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Drew Michael, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sam Fender, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Thomason, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Johnny 'Blue Hat' Davis, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2019 Sam Fender

3
White Privilege
00:03:29

Rich Costey, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dean Thompson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joseph Atkinson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Fender, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Thomason, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 Sam Fender

4
Dead Boys
00:03:23

Rich Costey, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dean Thompson, Guitar, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Drew Michael, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sam Fender, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Recording Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Thom Lewis, AssociatedPerformer, Synth Pads - Tom Ungerer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2018 Sam Fender

5
You're Not The Only One
00:04:34

Rich Costey, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dean Thompson, Engineer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - John Waugh, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Drew Michael, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sam Fender, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Engineer, Organ, Programming, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Thomason, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 Sam Fender

6
Play God
00:03:45

Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ed Smith, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Dean Thompson, Engineer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Barny Barnicott, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Fender, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Thom Lewis, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, Synth Pads

℗ 2017 Sam Fender

7
That Sound
00:03:24

Rich Costey, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dean Thompson, Guitar, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Drew Michael, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sam Fender, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Recording Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Ungerer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2018 Sam Fender

8
Saturday
00:03:01

Rich Costey, Producer, Mixer, Additional Producer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lorraine Barnes, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dean Thompson, Engineer, Guitar, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Patsy McKay, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Awsa Bergstrom, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Vasiliou, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Joseph Atkinson, Engineer, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Drew Michael, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sam Fender, Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Crystal Williams, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Laura Vasiliou, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Thomason, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Shardlow, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2019 Sam Fender

9
Will We Talk?
00:02:41

Rich Costey, Producer, Mixer, Recording Producer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Patrick Kiernan, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Emma Owens, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Bryony James, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Jenny Sacha, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Rosie Danvers, String Arranger, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sally Jackson, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Stephanie Cavey, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dean Thompson, Engineer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Nick Taylor, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rebecca Jones, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Wired Strings, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Sexton, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Morris, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Joseph Atkinson, Engineer, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Eleanor Stanford, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Zara Benyounes, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Drew Michael, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sam Fender, Producer, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Engineer, Percussion, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Thomason, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 Sam Fender

10
Two People
00:03:55

Rich Costey, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dean Thompson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Fender, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Thomason, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 Sam Fender

11
Call Me Lover
00:03:21

Rich Costey, Producer, Mixer, Additional Producer, Recording Producer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Patrick Kiernan, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Emma Owens, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Bryony James, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Jenny Sacha, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Rosie Danvers, String Arranger, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sally Jackson, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Stephanie Cavey, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dean Thompson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nick Taylor, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rebecca Jones, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Wired Strings, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah Sexton, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Morris, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Joseph Atkinson, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Eleanor Stanford, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Zara Benyounes, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sam Fender, Producer, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Recording Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Bramwell Bronte, Producer, Engineer, Percussion, Programming, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Thomason, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 Sam Fender

12
Leave Fast
00:03:44

Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dean Thompson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Barny Barnicott, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Fender, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bramwell Bronte, Producer - Thom Lewis, AssociatedPerformer, Synth Pads

℗ 2018 Sam Fender

13
Use (Live)
00:03:31

Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Fender, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bramwell Bronte, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Walch, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 Sam Fender

Album Description

In the two-and-a-half years between his first single, the urgent and atmospheric "Play God," and the release of his full-length debut in 2019, much was made of U.K. singer and songwriter Sam Fender's relatively young age -- 23 by the arrival of the latter. After all, he was drawing frequent comparisons to influence Bruce Springsteen, both for the sound of his early singles and for the working-class compassion on display in his lyrics, and he won the Critics' Choice Brit Award in late 2018, an honor previously bestowed upon, among others, Adele and Sam Smith. He opened for Bob Dylan and Neil Young in Hyde Park in July of 2019, two months before the arrival of Hypersonic Missiles. Recorded in his own studio in his hometown outside of Newcastle, and produced by his longtime friend, engineer Bramwell Bronte, its 13 songs include "Play God" as well as selections from his 2018 EP, Dead Boys. Fender's sticky melodies, assertive tone, and gritty guitar hooks are evident from the opening moments of the title track, a song that offers lines like "Dutch kids huff balloons in the parking lot/The golden arches illuminate the business park/I eat myself to death, feed the corporate machine." Its rousing chorus asks, "When the bombs drop, darling/Can you say that you've lived your life?" Later, the striking "White Privilege" is a voluble entry along the lines of a more-ruminative "It's the End of the World as We Know It" or "We Didn't Start the Fire." It goes on record with: "The patriarchy is real; the proof is here in my song." Hypersonic Missiles isn't all political; romantic interests and the healing powers of music are also topics at hand. In fact, as the album unfolds and traverses sociopolitical angst, romantic infatuation ("Call Me Lover"), and the urge to let loose (the infectious "Saturday"), it reveals itself to be a fitting soundtrack to the weekend, addressing hopes and frustrations with a persistent intensity and rousing melodies that fall in line with the catharsis at hand. The album ends with an impressive live performance (the piano ballad "Use"), which demonstrates that Fender's soaring vocals are just as authentic as his sentiments. Taken altogether, Hypersonic Missiles is smart, passionate, and loaded with rock-solid anthems that surpass the "promising" designation.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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