Despite the chaos created by the pandemic so far, Swiss Brooklyn-based artist Sam Himself (aka Sam Koechlin) released his new single “Cry” from his debut album expected in 2021. “Cry” is the first long-distance collaboration with his longtime producer and creative partner, Daniel Schlett. Sam recorded “Cry” partly at a local Basel Studio and partly in his attic during the quarantine.
Before the pandemic took a turn for the worst, Sam was on tour in Europe and only performed at one show before the remaining dates were canceled. With the travel restrictions immediately enforced, Sam was stranded between his native Switzerland and his chosen home in New York City. He decided to self-quarantine in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland, and released his long-awaited EP Slow Drugs.
I was driving across Switzerland before dawn to shoot the final takes of the video for ‘Like a Friend’; I’d been up for a long time, the tour had just been canceled and, according to the news, I wouldn’t be able to fly back to New York anytime soon. Then my phone rang and at the end of that call, the relationship I was in had ended, too. In a matter of hours, my life as I’d known it was over. For all the dread and confusion of that moment, I also felt ridiculous for licking my own wounds while the world around me looked like it was ending. That’s the dissonant state I tried to capture with ‘Cry’: it’s a farewell letter to my old life in New York and a relationship ended by the pandemic, but also a caustic reminder to myself not to wallow in self- pity amid a global catastrophe.Sam Himself, about the inspiration for “Cry”
Capitalizing on the extended time in quarantine, Sam created the soaring ballad “Cry” that showcases his baritone climbing to new heights as the song evolves into a weeping hymn with authentically vulnerable lyrics. Sam plays all the instruments on “Cry” except for the bass and one lead guitar, which was added by members of his European touring band. “Cry” is produced by Daniel Schlett and mastered by engineering legend Greg Calbi, who mastered songs for David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen.