A once-in-a-generation artist delivers a stunning second album
Faith Martin
09:53 7th October 2021

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Sam Fender has become well known for tackling hard-hitting subjects such as male suicide, violence and sexism—and now the Geordie rocker is back with his brand new album Seventeen Going Under, a stunning second outing.

Sam’s distinctively soulful yet rough tones blissfully wash over the record, touching on themes of toxic masculinity, the wealth of the 1% and mental health. This blinding second album is made up of both a hard-working spirit and sheer undeniable talent. Opening with the title track, the now-familiar sound of Fender’s voice touches on his turbulent teenage years on a track that's powerful lyrically and melodically—the perfect opening statement for the album.

Singles 'Get You Down' and 'Aye' lead as heavier guitar songs in Fender's arsenal, particularly 'Aye', in which Fender discusses his distaste for the right-wing and super-wealthy, insisting he doesn't "have time for the very few because they never had time for me or you". 'Mantra' is a slow, smooth jazz-like guitar ballad featuring shimmering bass lines and drumming that cascades gently over the ears as Sam tells a story of learning to accept who you are.

On album closer 'The Dying Light', Sam emotionally revisits his beloved North Shields. Touching on boarded-up windows on the promenade and the prevalence of male suicides there, 'The Dying Light' is an anthem for working-class towns and the individuals that live in them, whilst also a song that gives comfort to all that listen. 

This is an album built on battle scars, giving friendship to the desperately lonely, hope to those in the darkest of places and an escape to the ones who have searched forever to find it. Seventeen Going Under is a spectacularly faultless second record that will inspire generations to come: Springsteen might be Sam’s hero but he's becoming a boss in his own right.

Seventeen Going Under arrives 8 October via Polydor.

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Photo: Press