Releasing her new album The Water, Sam Buckingham has distilled an ambitious pilgrimage into songs that confront fear, convey heartache and celebrate adventure, desire and devotion.
With the majority of songs written over an eighteen month sojourn throughout Latin America, Buckingham immersed herself in new cultures and varied pursuits; volunteering alongside Sea Shepherd on a turtle conservation project; working on a permaculture farm in a remote Costa Rican village, studying Spanish and acrylic painting in a Nicaraguan township and completing formal yoga teacher training in the south of Mexico. Arriving at each new place, Buckingam sought local musicians, street performers and creative collaborations, as songs were written in hotel rooms, on top of dense jungle mountains and every conceivable place in-between.
“It was a time of intense exploration and growth – I was affected by so many people and experiences that I was quite certain they needed to be written about. I’d pick up my guitar already knowing, in a way, what I wanted to say.”
The Water became somewhat of an audio journal where subtle rhythms and the emotive language of Latin America sit beside fragile folk music, rousing Americana and pop-inflected hooks. There are fascinating surprises scattered throughout the record, while Buckingham explores the marriage of Australian folk with Latino influence – like a distorted steel pan bursting out from underneath a crunching electric guitar and heartbreaking harmonies – with the core of each song solidified by Buckingham’s intricate storytelling and timeless voice.
“Her songwriting and astounding voice gripped me” – Timber & Steel
Crowdfunded in full and with funding from Creative Partnership Australia’s MATCH program, Buckingham has proved she has the unwavering support of long term fans, and a solid reputation as one of the nation’s most prolific and engaging self managed artists. This support extends to the company she keeps and for The Water Buckingham enlisted the skills of some of Australia’s finest.
Multi-instrumentalist and long-time collaborator Kent Eastwood lent his hand to the piano, organ, keyboard, acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, mandolin and some perfectly placed backing vocals on Jolene and Elephant Man. Recent Golden Guitar winner Fanny Lumsden and CMT’s ‘Nashville’ songwriter Timothy James Bowen feature on a pair of stunning duets and Dan Stanley Freeman commanded the upright and electric bass. Renowned for his raw approach and location recording, producer, engineer and drummer Syd Green sourced a converted horse stable on the outskirts of Jervis Bay for the band to bunker down for a week and record – immersing themselves in the natural surrounds without metropolitan distraction.
“I sent everyone the rough demos with strict instructions not to learn the songs. It was just about knowing the stories and really feeling that before we came together – so where to take each song was a very spontaneous and natural collaboration from the beginning”
Buckingham released the title track and first single late January 2017 with the accompanying, self directed and edited video seeing Brisbane artist Lauren De Luca transform Buckingham’s face into a gorgeously sombre water scene. The release coincided with sold out single launch shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and, soon after, the album’s second track and forthcoming second single Living In The Dark was announced as a finalist in the renowned International Songwriting Competition and Buckingham was invited to open shows for Australian staples Felix Riebl and Jordie Lane as they launch new albums of their own.
The Water is out June 2, and is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through MATCH
10% of first month album sales will be donated to the Australian Marine Conservation Society
“Compelling, beautiful. She’ll take you on a journey home” – The Music
Longlisted for APRA Professional Development Award
Songs That Made Me tour with Katie Noonan, Angie Hart & Melody Pool
Appeared in Amanda Palmer’s The Art Of Asking (book)
I’m A Bird (album) Longlisted for Australian Music Prize
International Folk Alliance Showcases – Toronto, Canada
Worldwide publishing with Albert’s (now BMG)
Megan Washington tour support
‘The Seed’ Management Workshop
Four times finalist – International Songwriting Competition
Festival Appearances – Peats Ridge, Blue Mountains Folk, Kangaroo Valley
Folk, Nannup, National Folk Festival