Sam Lee releases new single ‘Lay This Body Down’

Sam Lee releases the video for a new single ‘Lay This Body Down’, the latest to be lifted from the Mercury Prize-nominee’s forthcoming third album, ‘Old Wow’, due for release on January 31, 2020 via Cooking Vinyl. Produced by Bernard Butler (Suede, McAlmont & Butler), ‘Old Wow’ follows Sam’s Arts Foundation Award-winning debut, ‘Ground of Its Own’ (2012), and 2015’s equally acclaimed ‘The Fade in Time’. Watch the official video for ‘Lay This Body Down’ – which follows previous 6Music-supported single ‘The Moon Shines Bright’, featuring Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) – here.

With echoes of the mythological River Styx which carried the souls of the dead into the afterlife in Greek lore, Sam created his new video for ‘Lay This Body Down’ – an atmospheric reimagining of an African American spiritual – with choreography featuring dancers from London’s Ballet Rambert. Speaking about the new track, Lee says; “Themes of death and renewal are central to ‘Lay This Body Down’. It has been adapted from the singing of an old ferry boatman in the 1860s who sang as he rowed the collector of this song across the water in Port Royal, a set of sparsely inhabited islands in South Carolina. It was described in the notes as being in the dead of night, with one hooded oarsmen guided only by a small oil lamp chanting this song as he rowed. The similarity to Charon the ferryman of Hades carrying the dead souls across the Styx and Acheron in greek mythology was not lost on the collector. This song touches deep into that sense of parting from the realm of the living. It speaks of final journeys, our returning to the soil and the eventual confrontation and acceptance of death that we all one day make.”

Lee plays a unique role in the British music scene. He is a multi-award-winning singer, a committed folk song collector and a successful live promoter helping to reinvigorate UK folk music. Recorded at RAK Studios and Studio 355 with Bernard Butler’s production, ‘Old Wow’ pushes Sam’s music into further remarkable territory. Butler’s electric guitar playing marks the first time it has ever appeared in Lee’s music, whilst Elizabeth Fraser’s spine-tingling vocals join other appearances from Cosmo Sheldrake, spoken-word poet Dizraeli and The Gloaming’s Caoimhin O Raghallaigh. ‘Old Wow’ is devoted to the natural world in the age of climate crisis; a commitment that has long since dominated Sam’s principles. A passionate conservationist & environmental campaigner, Sam has recently collaborated with Extinction Rebellion, Music Declares Emergency and the recent RSPB campaign, ‘Let Nature Sing’, which improbably launched 3 minutes of birdsong into the UK Top 20 charts.

Spanning new interpretations of American spirituals, Romany Gypsy songs and traditional English standards, ‘Old Wow’ arrives alongside artwork designed by Alex Merry (Damien Hirst, Gucci). With ‘Old Wow’, Sam Lee has created a timeless bridge; in his words; “Music that simultaneously looks back into the past and ahead to the future. An urgent cry to help inspire us all to fall back in love with the natural world that we might strengthen our resolve to protect her.’


29 January 2020     Glasgow Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Strathclyde Suite)

31 January 2020     Newcastle Cluny

01 February 2020   Manchester Night and Day

03 February 2020   Nottingham Rescue Rooms

04 February 2020   Leeds City Varieties

05 February 2020   Birmingham Glee

06 February 2020   Exeter Phoenix

07 February 2020   Bodmin St Petroc’s Church

08 February 2020   Lyme Regis Marine Theatre

10 February 2020   Cambridge Junction 2

13 February 2020   Brighton St George’s

15 February 2020   Canterbury Gulbenkian Theatre

16 February 2020   Norwich Open

17 February 2020   London EartH

19 February 2020   Bristol St George’s

21 February 2020   Cardiff The Gate






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