Sam Evian is a performance alias of Sam Griffin Owens, a New York-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with an affection for the mellower sounds of the ’60s and ’70s. Also a studio multitasker, he helped to build the Figure 8 Recording Studios in Brooklyn, and his appreciation for vintage instruments and equipment and his knowledge of the contemporary are evident in his solo work. Similarly, he counts the Band, Shuggie Otis, Cate Le Bon, and Cass McCombs (whom he’s produced) among his many varied influences.
Owens formed the indie rock group Celestial Shore with bassist Greg Albert and drummer Max Almario in the late aughts, and they released a series of EPs and singles beginning in early 2011. Their debut long-player, 10x, arrived in 2013, and was followed by 2014’s Enter Ghost, both on the Hometapes label. In the meantime, Owens appeared as a guest on other bands’ albums, including playing guitar and keyboards for Palehound and Here We Go Magic, and began as a house engineer at Figure 8.
Using the name Sam Evian to avoid confusion with other artists, his debut solo album, Premium, featured assistance from area musicians such as Dan Iead (pedal steel), Brian Betancourt (bass), and Austin Vaughn (drums). Other guests of note included saxophonist Eddie Barbash (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert house band), singer Hannah Cohen, and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily. Premium was released via Saddle Creek Records in September of 2016.
[Credit Marcy Donelson, Rovi via Sporify – 26.03.2018]
“Frisky lo-fi rock has a homespun charm” (The Gaurdian).
Pictures of Belgrade is the solo recording project of former ‘Something Anorak’ front man Chris Barrett. In 2017/18 Barrett has self released three albums and performed both solo and with a full band in tow. Essentially a way to whittle away the hours at home Pictures of Belgrade has become Chris’ main musical outlet with a fourth album on the way as well as a string of solo performances.