All hail Sam Hammond AKA Neverlander. London producer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and white-jeans-on-men skeptic. Despite an unlucky setback to his career, being on the cusp of major success fronting Epic Records’ five piece — Swiss Lips (with that catchy tune “U Got The Power), ready to release their debut album to then have it withheld in Sony’s shadowy vaults at the last second; Hammonds’ departure from the band has led to the release of some monstrous debut tracks. Equipped with songs like of ‘Gummy’ and ‘Rat Race’, which are both ambitious and accomplished, we expect he is an artist that will be selling out shows real soon.
Inspired by the likes of Justice, Kanye, Gary Numan and TV on the Radio, his songs evoke the same grandeur in scale that big producers seem to pull off while still being grounded in nuanced arrangements and vocal experimentation— his first track ‘Rat Race’ metal progressions are blended are with choral harmonies and punk hooks, all the while being extremely polished. I don’t really know why or how it works, to be honest, but it does.
‘Gummy’, the recent track garnering attention came to fruition with what seems like a giant hangover. According to Hammond was written “after staying at a party too long, when everything got a little dark and vampiric. It’s about paying for all the fun you had with a nosebleed and some tears.” The video directed by friend Tom Ashlee is purposely equally "as messed up as the lyrics are".
My dad was a musician and I wanted to be as cool as him.
As someone who seemed so playful in his attitude to music, we asked Hammond what his motivations were for pursuing it. To which he responded simply: “My dad is a musician and I wanted to be as cool as him. Also all musicians on TV had the best cars and the nicest looking girlfriends.” He then quickly adds “Sadly that’s not how it continued to be for musicians haha”. Acknowledging the unglamorous state of the music industry nowadays Hammonds reveals on a more serious note that music keeps him out of trouble and that “he is no good at making anything else.” This love affair for making music is ‘addictive’ he describes, especially when it is something he is proud of, and the “rush of happiness” that he gets afterwards is what seems to keep him going. This is then reflected in his sound, the rush, the power, a sound that is not too serious like his attitude but is equally addictive and adrenaline fueled. Perhaps this is a vicious cycle Hammond has found that musicians can only dream of. And maybe that’s enough to forget the best cars and nicest looking girlfriends, ey?
With his final comments Hammond assures us that he is writing and recording nonstop, with the intention of releasing a single every 6 weeks, “until the day I die” he protests. Look out for his next single ‘How Rude’ out on March 8th. And thus you can do the maths for the next one after.