It’s been a whirlwind few years for Sam Fender. Creating a loyal fanbase with his political indie rock, the 27-year-old has quickly become one of UK’s most exciting new acts. With his love for noughties pub rock and a keen likeness to Bruce Springsteen and Brandon Flowers, Fender speaks directly to a generation of fed-up and gentrified adolescents and shines a light on important issues that otherwise get pushed aside.
Having earned a Critic’s Choice Award at the 2019 BRIT Awards, supporting Bob Dylan and Neil Young at Hyde Park, seeing his debut album enter the UK charts at number 1, and finding a friend in little old Elton John, it’s hard to believe that Fender is only just getting started. His breakout album, the 2019 Hypersonic Missiles, details the life and struggle of the working class, a topic that Fender himself is familiar with having grown up in the small coastal town of North Shields. Over classic indie rock strums and strings, the album touches on male suicide (‘Dead Boys’), his own entitlement as a straight, white man (‘White Privilege’), hating your landlord and simply looking forward to the weekend (‘Saturday’) and a personal affair Fender himself had with a married woman when he was only 19 (‘Call Me Lover’).
But Fender is only ever focused on moving forward. With his sophomore album Seventeen Going Under, the star is limiting the scope to zero in on himself. As most artists have, Fender took inspiration from the Covid-19 lockdowns and used the newfound alone time to really look into his history and try and process things a little bit better. Seventeen Going Under will see the star get more personal than he’s ever really been, exploring not just the political world but how he himself survived in it. “This album is a coming-of-age story. It’s about growing up. It’s a celebration of life after hardship, and it’s a celebration of surviving.”
The road ahead for Fender looks beautifully clear. With several accolades already under his belt and a growing audience that includes his musical icons, there’s no stopping the small-town native. Hailed by critics as the Geordie Springsteen, there’s power to Fender’s music that’s meant to withstand time, and we have no doubt that it will.
Sam Fender’s sophomore studio album ‘Seventeen Going Under’ is out October 8. Pre-order here.