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Image of Samm Henshaw by Chad McLean

By Angelo Claure

Introducing London-based singer songwriter Samm Henshaw with his debut album arrival Untidy Soul. As the son of a reverend, Sam’s exposure and participation with gospel music was unsurprisingly introduced to him very early in life as he began writing worship songs for the church at the age of 15. Samm has gone on to tour with Chance the Rapper, work with Pharrell Williams, and collaborating on the single Church withE ARTHGANG. Samm himself has claimed his influences range from Marvin Gaye,Lauryn Hill, all the way to Kirk Franklin which should give any prospective listener a vivid background understanding of Samm’s sound.

Untidy Soul begins with Still No Album, a playful acknowledgement of how long this album has been in the works and the anticipation behind it. From then on, it is abundantly clear that Samm is intent on directing every force of his being into this project. The album mixes elements of hip-hop, jazz, R&B, with Samm’s impressive ability to deliver both reflective and joyous lyrics. Thoughts and Prayers sets the direction for the entirety of the album by jumping straight into the welcoming cohesion of keyboard and trumpet before Samm offers us his vision of a world worth caring for. On tracks Grow, Loved by You, and Take Time Samm explores the different phases of love we may find ourselves in with his patient and thoughtful lyrics that express the honesty and simplicity of each moment in the company of that special one. Enough deliversSamm’s considerations on satisfaction as he sings, “I’m scared of losing touch, so when is enough enough ” along a bumping chunky bass and beautifully timed trumpet fills. There is a real ease in this album, in the playfulness at every corner, in the faith behind the words, in the uninhibited spirit each track delivers. It is clear Samm brought the warmth of the gospel from all those years singing in praise hidden behind church doors and we are lucky to be able to get even the slightest note from that profound melody. Samm concludes the album with the perfect message, “This one might leave you teary-eyed, this one gonna keep you flying high, this one gonna get you through the night, this song is called Joy, sweet Joy”. A glorious end to Samm’s debut album, here’s lookingforward to what new wonders Henshaw may come to share with us.