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Sam Quinn

The Fake That Sunk a Thousand Ships

(Ramseur; US: 11 May 2010; UK: import)

Whatever happened when the Everybodyfields split up, it must have been something pretty heavy. Now on his own, Sam Quinn, who fronted the Everybodyfields with Jill Andrews, has his first solo album in The Fake That Sunk a Thousand Ships. All the bitterness, deceit and loss implied by that title comes through on the album. Clearly in the wake of crisis, perhaps not his band’s break-up or any lost relationships because of it, though it’s hard not to make the connection, Quinn vacillates between regret and bitter isolation. Opener “Hello” finds him wanting to go back to fix past mistakes, while on the next song, “Fanboy”, he lashes out, claiming “I never needed anyone except myself”. Those two poles shape the rest of the record. Behind all the emotions Quinn has assembled a dusty country band that gives these songs all the space they need. Quinn has done a fine job of retaining the best, rootsy tendencies of his former band, while avoiding its stately folk side.  Instead, he now favors a boozy looseness that makes this whole record more approachable. To a point, anyway, because when you focus on what Quinn’s singing, this all feels just a bit too raw, too exposed in its confessions. So while you may surely feel for Quinn as you listen to this record, there’ll be more than one moment where you wish he’d maybe keep a little bit of this to himself. Some of these hurts seem better solved in private.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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