It feels like it’s taken forever, but at long last Sam Fender’s highly anticipated second album ‘Seventeen Going Under’ has dropped.
Released at midnight on what was a landmark day for Geordie’s everywhere with the confirmation of the takeover of Newcastle United FC, Fender’s second full album release is crisp, punchy and brings with it the raw honesty that has made him one of the biggest names on the UK music scene in recent years.
Fender’s story-telling is gripping, and what gives the album its real zing is Fender’s North Shields accent. The singer-songwriter is on course to conquer the world with his music, and he’s quickly becoming one of Tyneside’s, and the north east’s, favourite sons.
16 tracks and over an hour run time, the album kicks off with the title track. ‘Seventeen Going Under’ gives the album a rousing launch and is the song from the record most familiar to fans having been released as a single back in July.
It is loaded, and goes deep into Fender’s home life. ‘She said the debt, the debt, the debt
‘So I thought about shifting gear. And how she wept and wept and wept. Luck came and died ‘round here I see my mother. The DWP see a number’ are the powerful lyrics of someone who has gone on to thrive doing something he is so passionate about by encapsulating experiences of the past so vividly.’
His voice sticks with you, and is instantly recognisable. After this second album, Fender has once again reaffirmed his skill both singing and songwriting.
In ‘The Dying Light’ the use of the piano comes into its own. The first half of the song feels like we are just experiencing Fender and the sounds of the piano. It makes you feel as though the listener and the singer are the only two people left in the world.
‘Aye’ feels as though it’s a lightning quick take on moments in history that are swamped in controversy.
These include the arguments made over the legitimacy of dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the footage of when John F Kennedy was shot dead in 1963.
It is a take on 21st century society and how things are always changing and how a range of titles, such as patriot and liberal, don’t apply to him anymore.
With ‘Spit of You’ we are given an experience of Fender and his dad. The video for the song, his dad is played by Line of Duty actor, amongst many other things, Stephen Graham.
In an interview with Radio X, Fender said that the song was about “boys and their dads.”
Fender explained: “It’s based around my own relationship with my old man, and how we both struggle as blokes to communicate the way we feel to each other without it becoming a stand off.
"It’s about how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as I get further into my twenties I see so much of myself in him, especially when it comes to being stubborn."
This album is the experiences of a hard working singer-songwriter from Tyneside sewn together with vibrant, passionate sound that sticks in the head long after listening.