SG Lewis unveils cosmic debut album “times”
The 26-year old Reading-native has already made his stamp on the flourishing nu-disco scene. Dating back to his 2014 early EP days, SG knew his sound and knew it well, never deviating too far.
I’m sure if you asked Sam he’d tell you he’d wished his album debut would look a bit different, complete with a prospective tour and millions of club plays. Instead, he gets to build his streaming audience and play Corden’s Late Show. However, we are all appreciative that he dropped it now and didn’t wait for the virus to be eradicated (whenever that is)
In the blank expanse of quarantine, music made for dancefloors becomes a eulogy and a prayer, an act of mourning and a symbol of hopePitchfork, SG Lewis “Times” Review, Feb 19th
The first difference I notice on this album is the diversity of features he pulls from. Usually SG’s help comes from the same type of artist (plus or minus 1 degree). For example, on Dawn he had Ruel, Clairo, and Kamille. All up-and-coming, young supertalents with a pop vibe. On the other hand, Times is much more spaced out: guitarist Nile Rogers, R&Bist Channel Tres, and British songstress Frances. All different shaped artists and yet he weaves them into something that works so seamlessly.
The other nuance of this album versus others is the lack of “story” throughout the 10 tracks. I don’t think it’s a bad thing per say, and in fact, it’s refreshing. I’m sure some would disagree, but I think you could listen to the album in any order. Would it make a difference? Of course. You’d get a different experience each time… maybe that’s what he was going for (I will say that “Fall” caps things off quite nicely though).
I’d like to highlight my top 3 tracks on the album: “Chemicals,” “All We Have,” and “Feed The Fire”. I would also like to make it clear that this is the kind of album that makes it VERY difficult to pick a top 3. There’s a completeness to entire thing.
His album pacesetter. Back when he released this track in the middle of 2020 we knew he had something groundbreaking right around corner. “Chemicals” is about giving into infatuation and the state of mind that accompanies. Whether it’s one night, one experience, or years of both, the chemicals are strong, and to most, are brand new. Produced by Chad Hugo (The Neptunes), it was bound to be a masterpiece.
All We Have (feat. Lastlings)
The drawn-out, almost 7-minute-long allure of All We Have makes it my dark-horse favorite track on the album. SG teams up with Australian sibling duo Lastlings (co-signed by RUFUS DU SOL) to deliver an emotional, house-based message. Interesting Fact: there’s 22 lines in the entire song and 14 of those are “All we have is now”.
Feed The Fire (feat. Lucky Daye)
Feed The Fire is more of your typical SG Lewis sound. In my opinion, Lewis ventured out of his comfort zone on Times, playing around in different spaces. However, Feed The Fire is his safe place: vibrant synths and relatable lyrics. This track did turn me on to R&B artist Lucky Daye. I’ve been heavy into his stuff, and I recommend you check it out as well. He’s got an interesting backstory.
Honorable Mention: “Impact” (feat. Robyn and Channel Tres”
I have to throw this one in to pay homage to my boy Channel Tres. I had the honor of seeing him in some Chicago warehouse and it was everything I could have imagined + way more dancing. A R&B-House legend.
Run through the album a few….times….and let me know what you think. My advice is to wait for the weekend, but you can make your own decisions.