The new single from the Brooklyn artist offers a gorgeous glimpse into his forthcoming record Terra Australis
I think I speak for most of us when I say IT’S BEEN KIND OF A STRESSFUL WEEK, but now I’m happy to offer you an anxiety antidote (or at least a lovely sonic distraction) in the form of “A Winter Country”—the beautiful brand-new track from Sam Yield and the first single off of his upcoming record, Terra Australis (to be released on digital + cassette via Plastic Miracles on January 8th!).
Soft, intimate-sounding and lush with kinda folky feels, the song has Sam coming in at a volume barely above a whisper, singing in a way that inspires you to do more than just listen and put on your headphones, close your eyes and really pay attention.
Ahead of the song’s release, the artist offered a little context on the track, as well as a bonus (and pretty fascinating) history lesson on the album’s namesake:
“I wrote ‘A Winter Country’ at a time when I was very low and thought I always would be. As for the reference to ‘terra australis’ in one line, that was the name European mapmakers once gave to the hypothetical continent they thought must exist on the opposite side of the world. A few explorers claimed to have found it and described it as a paradise. In the seventeenth century, the utopian author Gabriel de Foigny imagined it to be covered in perfectly symmetrical cities. Captain Cook searched for it for several years in the 1760s and ’70s, but found only fields of broken ice. Once he witnessed thousands of terns pass south on the way to their wintering grounds on the Antarctic coast. According to the Greeks, who first posited the existence of a southern continent, the voices of the dead sound like the chirping of birds.”
When I was listening to “Winter Country” this morning, I was trying to remember why Sam’s name sounded so familiar. Then I remembered—
Last night, I was transcribing an (unrelated) interview I did with Zach Ellis (Dead Tooth, WIVES) a few weeks ago, and he told me how he and Sam—who used to play bass in a band with Zach, as well as in Haybaby—used to host acoustic shows in people’s apartments.
That’s all to say that after spending this morning listening to Terra Australis, I really wish I could be spending this evening in someone’s Brooklyn living room, drinking the cheapest available not-totally-shitty wine I bought on the way over and experiencing Sam play his songs live with a small group of music-loving strangers..
While that’s currently (obviously) not an option, hopefully it will be soon—in the words of the new song itself, “if not today, than tomorrow…”
Feature image provided by the artist.