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Pinewood

All Things With Symmetry
(Self-Released)
Release Date: May 1, 2020
Add Date: APR 28

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A humdrum routine is something found terrifying by many artistic types. While we never walk the same path twice, some find their path becomes cyclical simply by exercising resistance to exactly that. Songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Sam Kempe would likely lament to you that he has wasted valuable time throughout his 28-year life, and done so in quite extensive periods. A quick evaluation of his story would reveal that to be an exaggeration, though his insecurity exercises the same persistence, and should simply be left to wreak the havoc upon his mind that it will. These feelings are, at his current age, facts of life that Kempe is now quite keen to. For Sam, songwriting is a long and delicate process that has required him to walk many different paths.


After seven years spent running around in the Athens, GA, music scene, Sam moved home to Atlanta in 2018 to start anew. His previous musical endeavors primarily included filling the role of bass player for various indie bands and closely learning audio production while recording and mixing his bands’ records. Looking back through his 20s, it was quite apparent that he had abandoned any desire to write his own music. Following the loss of a longtime musical influence, he began to catch up on years of songwriting ideas and emotions that had been held back for far too long.


Pinewood is the culmination of Sam’s musical being to date. Raised on the creations of folk-rock songwriters and bluegrass music, he had a predetermined sound created for the songs in his head. Simple kick-snare beats are accented by thunderous toms and tight, dynamic bass lines. Atop this foundation lie smooth acoustic strumming textures and “string” sections made up of banjo and mandolin, plucking simple-yet-articulate rhythmic patterns. Arpeggiated synths and atmospheric pads occupy the rest of the spectrum supporting the songs about Sam’s life experience to date. Additionally, all instrumentation and vocals are written and recorded by Kempe, what he claims to be one of his biggest challenges to date. He sings of prolonged periods of darkness, times in which he continues searching until he discovers the light to guide him to where he needs to be. His music’s primary directive is learning oneself better during times of depression and finding the deeper parts of one’s mind, so that this knowledge and understanding of self can stand guard against the inevitable return of dark feelings.


Photos: Megan Varner


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