Album Review: Sam Densmore – Open Marriage

Portland based singer-songwriter Sam Densmore has produced a number of albums since he first started his career in music and it was with grateful hands that we picked up his latest offering, Open Marriage; a cheerful and eager album filled with experimental folk and country vibes that will help get your blood pumping.

Densmore is a powerful and highly charged musician with a wealth of talent at his disposal. Open Marriage is flooded with jovial, heartfelt and uplifting melodies that warm you to the core. His music is jubilant, bouncing along and yet feels somewhat rough around the edges, like his work is still adapting to its own nature as it reaches your ears. Densmore renders this with soft and simple guitar melodies that are burning with passion and are delivered with such determination and an experimental nature that they become almost monumental. There is a clearly defined core to his work that sites around folk and country music but it readily departs from this with synthesizers and even gospel organs. The result is a rich amalgamation of sounds that cycle through pop, jazz and even ska before returning home to folk.

Densmore himself brings his music to life with a playful flourish and ties it all together with his earnest, tender, almost smoky vocals. Singing with a distinct passion and vigour, Densmore’s voice seems to seat itself somewhere between the warming nature of Darren Black and the mischievous lilt of Johnathan Coulton – it’s slightly rasped, incredibly fun and undeniably passionate. It’s a charismatic and warming voice that demands attention and really makes you want to hear what he has to say.

Open Marriage is a perfect fusion of sounds that all centre themselves around folk and country. There is a deep vein of music steeped in the heritage of these genres but allowed the room to breathe and intermingle with new and exciting tones.

Listen to the album here

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Review by Joe Knipe

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