The 1.20-minute title track of Sam Phay’s debut EP, ‘Botanical’, transport you into the centre of a dense, colourful botanical garden, leading you along a winding path of creativity and stunning landscapes.
‘Oracle’ is the extension of thick, curtains of perfectly lined trees that intertwine into an arc, creating a tunnel where light glistens through the smallest of gaps. The lingering strokes of the piano keys tempt you in and guide you through, as a sense of unease is washed over you with the haunting echoes, erratic distortions, pulsating percussion, and chilling falsetto in a dark telling of love lost.
EP single, ‘Trace’ finds the opening of the tunnel, as Sam’s misty r’n’b style vocals carry sweetly through the air. ‘At Least’ leads the path up a steady inclining hill with dawdling builds and the restrained, pain-shielding James Blake melodies. Now atop of the hill, ‘Fool’ sits as the realisation piece.
Phay is more open with his vocal lines and the euphoric layering of melodies that explodes in the closing song, ‘Hell Or High Water’ which is the view of the colourful gardens in the distance, the end of the path. Though you’re not quite there yet, you can see it and Sam Phay paints that picture perfectly.
Reviewed by Tammy Walters