Sam Wickens new EP ‘Watson’ was never meant to be. The Bangor man’s new record was originally something deeply personal, never intended to see the light of day. Now, it’s out in the world, and the way Wickens has poured his heart out is the strength of it. Having won comparisons to the likes of Jeff Buckley and Death Cab For Cutie, Wicken’s heart works best when it’s on his sleeve.
“The EP started as part of a passion project,” Wickens explains. “I began writing and recording a few songs to get some therapeutic release from them. I was in a terrible place and needed to try and work out thoughts and problems I was having at the time.”
“At the start of 2020 I was in such a better place and returned to these songs and had an overwhelming feeling that I had to share these stories and experiences, we finished recording the songs and they just created a body of music that was so tightly knitted together.”
Single ‘Murky Waters’ is a particularly poignant one for Wickens, in that it sees him bare his soul with total transparency. “My music is always a face to face meeting with some sort of demon I’ve had rummaging around in my head. I find that the entire process is incredibly helpful towards coming to terms with what the song was about, especially through the video process as it becomes a lot more in depth to the visual scenes and that can stem a lot of thoughts towards the original mindset of when I was writing the song and it was quite raw.”
““Murky Waters is the realisation that I was raised and put through terrible circumstances. Constantly feeling alone through every obstacle that was placed in front of me. Traumatic events seemed to follow me no matter where I ran, I started to believe that I was some sort of gatekeeper, that my purpose was to absorb the terrible things so others didn’t need too.”
“I love the visual side of things, I have released a music video for ‘Strange.24’ and one for ‘Murky Waters’ and that has been an incredible experience to be a part of. I love tattoos and have many but I only get writing tattooed on me, my girlfriend is a Tattoo Artist so I see a lot of the work that goes into drawing and designing which is incredible to witness! I find Mixed Martial Arts is a creative output as well, You get to be creative in the way of what Fighting style to use, when to mix it up, how to be unpredictable and follow a rhythm then change it.”
The slow-down of recent events, in fact, has done Wickens some good, helping him to step away from his darker side through simplicity.
“I have found that allowing your life to be a lot smaller helps, we are all used to the fast moving world and then when it basically paused a lot of people feel like things are too slow, they are sitting with their own thoughts a lot more than they usually would,” he says.
I have spent so much time with my parents, dogs and girlfriend, we spent spring planning ahead, we spent summer in the garden building a patio and decking and then spent autumn and summer inside talking with each other. I also exercise and train in Mixed Martial Arts throughout the week when it is allowed. I think the answer is to focus on your small world and try not to become obsessed with the rest of the world and all the going ons that you can’t control.”
In his self-exploratory music, Wickens certainly does that.
The ‘Watson’ EP, as well as single ‘Murky Waters’ are out now.