It was New Years Eve 2022, the night before Sam Evian started recording Plunge, his fourth LP,
now set for release on Flying Cloud Recordings via Thirty Tigers – his first album on his new
imprint. He invited his friends and fellow musicians to his property in the Catskills, where he’d
just painstakingly relocated and revamped his Flying Clouds Studios into a new barn on the
property, restoring a vintage console and tape deck from 1974. Adrianne Lenker brought a jug
of maple syrup from Vermont, Sufjan Stevens set off fireworks in the meadow, and at midnight,
the group of friends cold-plunged into a nearby creek as it started snowing.
The next day, the Plunge sessions began, and the album was tracked in the early winter months
of 2023 over a 10-day period. Joined by a group of his closest friends and collaborators
(including Liam Kazar, Sean Mullins, El Kempner of Palehound and Adrianne Lenker of Big
Thief), the young artist / producer set out with a wide-open approach. “No-one knew the songs
or what the plan was. We kept it loose and fun. This was the spirit of the sessions. No
headphones, no playback, minimal overdubs, or bleed. Fast and loose.”
The result is Evian’s best album to date: a cathartic rock record that melds power pop, iridescent
guitar, raucous psychedelia, and Sam’s now sought-after grooves. The music is both fresh and
familiar, sonically inspired by his penchant for early 70s production and creatively propelled by
the free-spirited process depicted in the Beatles documentary Get Back, as well as his urge to
let go. Hypnotic opener “Wild Days” is an uplifting overture centered around a pulsing rhythm
section and a guitar solo designed for the open road, while “Jacket” opens with a tight guitar riff,
Baroque pop elements and a strong nod to the Beatles. “Rollin In” is a psychedelic-infused
blissed-out masterpiece, peppered with saxophone and Rhodes, both played by Sam.
The unbridled, “Why Does It Take So Long,” features Lenker’s wild guitar solo, while “Another
Way” features El Kempner of Palehound on guitar. “Stay,” is the Gram Parsons / John Lennon
session we didn’t know we needed, while “Freakz” is an irreverent, funked-out album curveball,
designed for a good time. And that’s just a taste of what Evian has cooked up here.
Plunge is Evian’s first release on his own imprint, Flying Cloud Recordings, the new imprint of
his Catskills-based studio. In 2017 Sam Evian decamped to the Catskills alongside his partner
Hannah Cohen and their dog, Jan, creating an immersive recording experience, Flying Cloud
Studios, tucked away in the mountains of upstate New York. Evian (née Sam Owens) has
hosted/produced/engineered a slew of artists in his home studio including Big Thief
(Grammy-nominated for Certainty), Palehound, Kate Bollinger, Blonde Redhead, Helena Deland
and more. Plunge is his fourth LP and first partnered with Thirty Tigers. Prior to Plunge, Evian
has released three LPS; Premium (2016), You, Forever (2018), and Time to Melt (2021), as well
as a handful of singles.
Hannah Cohen has arrived home. From the title of her new album to the depth and beauty of the music, the Woodstock, NY-based singer-songwriter’s third album, “Welcome Home,” displays a confidence and comfort with the many creative tools at her disposal. Cohen’s remarkably evocative voice is surrounded by dreamy, swooning incantations, from the rippling ‘This Is Your Life’ and the slow-burning, forthright statement of ‘All I Want,’ to the soul swagger of ‘Get in Line’ and dramatic vocal leaps of ‘Wasting My Time.’ Produced by Sam Evian, the artist began developing the material that became “Welcome Home” in 2017. Taking her time with the songs, she wrapped herself in the fulfilling quiet of a new home, and a new creative partnership that supported finding a clarity in her writing and vocals. Many of the songs were written on an old, nylon-string guitar painted with Hawaiian scenes of beaches and palm trees (which can be heard on ‘This Is Your Life’), that, no matter the final arrangement, gives the songs a lighter touch, a warming glow that suffuses the whole album. Listeners may find echoes of folk and R&B, radiating with vocal-powered pop production, electronic accents, and bursts of pulsing guitar/bass/drums energy. Irresistible echoes of soul enchanters such as Carrie Cleveland (an early touchstone for Cohen and Evian), Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and their friend and sometime collaborator Nick Hakim blend with the reflective singer/writer forebears such as Carole King.