Cultural tastes explored...

Sam Johnson writes about what he knows.

So, expect topics such as growth, fulfillment, family, and friendship to linger in the context of his work.

New EP 'Are We There Yet?' is out today - January 15th - and it "marks a definitive farewell to my childhood on both a personal and musical level for me.

It's an EP that maps my recollection of a time gone by that I miss greatly and contemplate often."

The material has "both optimistic intention and wistful yearning" he says, finely sculpted songwriting that rings with a sense of emotional truth.

He finishes: "On a personal level, it's a much-needed bit of closure to a beloved time in my life that I need to leave behind in order to move forward. Are we there yet? I don't think so, not just yet, but I think I'm more at peace with the journey now."

To celebrate the release of the new EP, Clash sat down with Sam Johnson to discuss his culture touchstones...

TV…

I’ve found particular joy in watching The Crown. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and the recent series has been a bit controversial, but as a piece of drama it’s been undeniably compelling. Supposition galore, over the top, and totally Hollywood, but damn it’s good.

Books…

I’m just reading the last few pages of a pleasantly arced political satire called Middle England by Jonathan Coe. It centres around a handful of typically English characters from the Midlands in the events before, during, and after the Brexit referendum. It’s got some lovably comic moments, but also some rather illuminating and alarming truths as to how easily a nation widely regarded as progressive and open can go down the route it has.

Music…

Lot’s to mention here. I’ve recently discovered an absolute thumper from an artist called R.L. Burnside called ‘Someday Baby’. The song itself is an outright crossbreed. Stretching seamlessly across Mississippi rock, hip-hop, and soul, it’s a complete road trip hit and has had me singing along endlessly in the car for days.

The artist himself remains a bit of a mystery to me, and a mystery I intend to stay beneath the thrall of. From what I can see on his album cover though, he looks about 80 years old.

Aside from this, I’ve been getting stuck back into a lot of King Krule and Mount Kimbie.

Film…

I’ve been going through a bit of a Tarantino phase again recently. My girlfriend had never seen Inglourious Basterds before so we started with that and have been going down the rabbit hole ever since. I love the constant unpredictability of his movies and how well he develops characters. No one else can have so many different heroes and villains in one movie and make them all so convincing.

Gadget…

My mum got me this wicked little watch for surfing that I can wear out in the water. I started learning back in summer and have loved it ever since.

The one problem I kept having though was I’d get too carried away and lose track of time out there, which aside from missing a few important calls with my managers and getting home too late, got a little dangerous at points cause you can get hypothermia pretty quickly at this time of the year.

So this watch has literally been a lifesaver at times.

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Photo Credit: Isy Townshend

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