Alt-pop artist Sam Nitsch releases his new album, Under the Influencer, a collection of eight tracks about how we rely on other people to inform us what is cool and trendy, what we should enjoy doing, and how we should perceive ourselves.
During the pandemic, Sam wrote on the weekends at his home in upstate New York, followed by traveling to New London, Connecticut, where he recorded at Power Station New England with Evan Bakke. While thus isolated, Sam began examining the impact of social media on society.
Most people compare themselves to others. It’s the way humans are. But injecting influencers into the equation adds an overwhelming, artificial aspect to the sum. Users of social media find themselves inundated with curated content that purports to be the be-all and end-all of what’s significant when in reality it’s simply synthetic and has no pertinence to real life.
Sam uses his platform to spread an important and honest message that he hopes will inspire others to put down their smartphones and enjoy the moment, as well as encourage other artists to use their platforms to send a message to listeners.
Sam Nitsch has been a member of several orchestras and chamber ensembles, eventually becoming an awarded concertmaster of the NY Conference All-State String Orchestra. He has also performed as part of the Rochester Philharmonic League Young Artists Auditions Winners Recital, and the Rochester Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, along with providing backing vocals for Josh Groban’s summer tour.
An accomplished violinist, Sam studied at Berklee College of Music and has released a series of excellent singles, along with his 2021 album, NEOWISE.
Under the Influencer begins with “Follow Me,” a glittering, low-slung alt-pop song featuring a delectable rhythm topped by vibrant leitmotifs. Sam’s haunting, slightly portentous vocals imbue the lyrics with latent, ominous flavors.
Entry points include “Kiss Her Slow,” a mid-tempo tune with hints of tropical savors and glowing harmonies. Whereas “Expectations” rolls out on a darker, throbbing rhythm as luminous textures ride overhead. There’s an edgy allure to the harmonics on this track.
The title track travels on a ukulele riding a gliding rhythm as Sam’s voice infuses the lyrics with retro coloration, giving the tune a sardonic aroma. While doo-wop-like harmonies imbue “Phone Machine” with heady tones.
Wonderfully wrought, Under the Influencer is vaguely reminiscent of The Beatles, full of dazzling kaleidoscopic colors and lush vocals.