Thursday, October 28th, 2021
Sam Evian is an songwriter and producer, who spent years in NYC, but has recently moved to the Catskills. Time to Melt, his third LP and debut for Fat Possum was the result of recordings in upstate NY. A glowing set of soulfully psychedelic pop gems, Time to Melt is a testimonial to the life and wisdom to be found when you give yourself the mercy of space. During the last decade, Sam has worked with Big Thief, Cass McCombs, and Widowspeak as Sam Owens, his given name.
Through the pandemic, he sorted through more than 60 instrumental demos he’d recorded in the last 2 years and began shaping the most enticing of them into songs with help from friends. But the last few years have been purely happy for mostly no one, Sam included. Time to Melt reckons with the weight of our time, even when it sounds largely weightless. Inspired by Coltrane’s mixture of grace and gravitas and Marvin Gaye’s uncanny ability to turn social issues into personal anthems, Sam strove to give these otherwise-beguiling instrumentals the thoughtfulness and depth these days demand.
With its rubbery bassline and sweeping strings, “Freezee Pops” unfurls like a Summer breeze. It reads, though, like poetic testimony on police brutality, an innocent kid’s life plundered for prison-system profits. And “Knock Knock” taps Sam’s memories of race-and-class violence in the small-town South and his subsequent reckoning with our crumbling American façade, where “we tell ourselves almost anything but the truth.” The song is ultimately a tribute to the perseverance of the vulnerable, who find community and joy in spite of the way centuries of miscreants try to deny it.
There are also songs of utter celebration on Time to Melt. Buttressed by bold baritone sax, lifted by exuberant trumpet, and washed in fluorescent guitars, “Easy to Love” is an exultant ode to finding a new paradise outside of the city. At home now near the Ashokan Reservoir with their new rescue dog, Jan, Sam and Hannah mostly listen to music and cook dinner. That’s the kind of record Sam wanted to make—an album of sounds so pleasant and compelling that you put it on and follow the slipstream.
But making dinner isn’t some idle exercise. It’s a place to unpack the pain and wonder, the suffering and promise of the moment, to reflect on where you have been and what might come next. In 40 striking minutes, or the time it may take you to make that meal, Time to Melt sorts through a year of a life spent in rage and hope, lockdown and love.
Needless to say, we're very excited for this show at Foam. We hope you join us on Thursday the 28th of October for a show we've been looking forward to for months.
Chicago-raised musician, songwriter and chef Liam Kazar
Throughout the last decade, Kazar has been recognized for his adaptability and deftness in the studio and on stage, leading to tours and collaborations with Jeff Tweedy, Chance the Rapper, Steve Gunn, Daniel Johnston, amongst others. While Kazar has consistently been a dream bandmate over the past several years, making his own songs presented a chance to finally find his own voice. Due North, latest release is a personal revelation, where the more Kazar wrote, the more his songs showed what kind of artist he’s always wanted to be – one whose own joyous rock songs are so irresistible, full of charm, wit and heart, they feel timeless. Aside from Kazar’s incredible musicianship, he’s also a fantastic chef. He runs a restaurant, Isfahan, in which he makes gorgeous dishes that honor his Armenian heritage and his family’s journey to the United States from Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.