Over the past couple of years, Newcastle, UK-based singer/songwriter Sam Fender has received attention both nationally and internationally for crafting rousingly anthemic material that broadly focuses on hard-hitting social issues, broadly drawing from his own experiences growing up in Northeastern England. Last year, Fender was featured on BBC Sound of 2018‘s shortlist, which he promptly followed up with a sold-out headlining UK tour.
Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Fender released the highly-anticipated Dead Boys EP last November, and as you may recall, the EP featured the attention-grabbing “That Sound,” a power chord-based arena rock friendly track that featured enormous raise-your-beer-in-the-air-and-shout-along worth hooks, soulful vocals and a bluesy vibe that brought The Black Keys, Slaves, Royal Blood and others to mind. “Simply put ‘That Sound’ is a celebration of music, but it’s also a not-so-subtle middle finger to the naysayers that tend to rear their heads as soon things start to work out for you, especially back at home. It’s about finding strength to ignore it all, and keep doing your thing,” Fender said in press notes at the time.
“Play God,” the latest single off the Dead Boys EP is arguably the most politically-charged and conscious song I’ve written about so far this year, as it talks about how the interests of the powerful and extraordinarily rich few are what really controls the world as we know it; those people play God with everyone and everything. Sonically, the track continues in a similar vein as its predecessor — rousingly anthemic hooks, enormous blues power chords and his incredibly soulful powerhouse vocals. With this latest single, the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter and guitarist has crafted a song that belies his relative youth, while revealing an ambitious artist and songwriter, who seems ready to take over the world.
Directed by Vincent Haycock, the recently released black and white video for “Play God” is largely centered around depictions of violence, whether watched on a television, real or imagined. At points, it’s beautiful, startling and downright disturbing — as it should be.
Along with the release of the new video, Fender announced an international spring headlining tour that will feature a handful of North American dates, including a handful of SXSW sets and a March 20, 2019 stop at Rough Trade. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.