Sam Fender – Wild Grey Ocean Review

Written by James Conway

Sam Fender has released a heart-wrenching ballad to close off the ‘Seventeen Going Under’ era.

Coming off touring his sophomore album ‘Seventeen Going Under’ for the past year, Sam Fender rounds off this album era by releasing a single ‘Wild Grey Ocean’ from his upcoming extended album ‘Live From Finsbury’ – which comprises of the original track listing of 17 and bonus Tracks including but not limited to: ‘Howdon Aldi Death Que’, fan favourite ‘Angel In Lothian’ and the more recent release ‘Alright.’ 

With the release of this new single, we see Sam infusing his lockdown learnt skills of piano (which we heard more prominently in tracks ‘The Dying Light’ and ‘Poltergeists’) and brings a chilled Bruce Springsteen ballad beat with a nicely reminiscent riff that you might hear in ‘I’m on fire’. 

Towards the end of the track, you hear Sam’s well-known sax player Johnny “Bluehat” Davis catchy saxophone lines. As with most songs Davis featuring adds a very different element to Sam’s tracks and the same applies here. 

There is a minimal yet ever-present drum use by Sam’s very own Drew Michael who has been an exceptional addition to Sam’s music and has been able to create some truly memorable beats inside and outside of the studio.

The song itself is a lot like the rest of the sophomore project and mainly focuses on Sam’s earlier life living in North Shields, Newcastle. We start the story in this single with Sam recollecting his lived experience, consisting of what felt like endless nine-to-fives. We then flow into the track’s one of two mini choruses, both of which tracks sam’s heartbreak in his hometown. This elegantly transitions into his rough experiences from when he was younger with his brother. They were both being bullied and dragged into the endless and dangerous pit of drugs and expressing how his brother was nearly killed in a brutal attack. 

With the song produced by Thom Lewis, who had helped produce and program many items across the lockdown made album that is ’17 Going Under’, he has been able to help build an impressive portfolio with this album alone dipping into many different types of sound with Sam. 

This track and many others in the album (although mainly about Sam’s life) have strongly resonated and are incredibly relatable to many fans – myself included and this new track adds to Fender’s stunning discography.

Photos by James Conway