Breaking into the rock scene from Trenton, Ohio is Samuel Day with his self-produced EP The Spark. The six tracks give us a great intro into Day’s musical and lyrical abilities, as he layers vibrant string arrangements, heavy guitar riffs, and empowering vocals.
Kicking off the record is “Daybreak,” an instrumental piece that shows off Day’s musical studies (he carries a music degree from the University of Dayton) as he articulately seams string movements, extreme rock riffs, and fantastic piano work. At one point, he even throws in a saxophone melody and makes it rock!
Next is the album’s first lyrical piece with “House of Shadows.” The verses incite a strong sense of eeriness, encouraging us to get out of the House and run from the evil that lies within. The chorus, however, becomes a battle cry reminding us that somebody is trapped in the House, and that we need to return to save them. With heavy guitars amplifying the anthem, this could be one amazing music video.
With “The Screen,” things slow down as a piano and Day’s vocals set out to challenge today’s status quo. The track waits to use the guitar as a hammer to nail down the theme, “The war that rages in this city’s souls. I looked up and I found that no one’s looking. They’re waiting for an answer on the screen.” Whew, less Clash of Clans for me and more viewing the surrounding world.
Taking a melancholy tone, “Walk With Fire” is another summons calling us to partake in further soul-searching. To go where you “won’t live heartbroken and choking,” you must “burn everything you’ve wasted in your ways.” Beautifully enhancing the lyrics are the musical melodies, as Day partners with Quentin Marsh and Anna Bumiller on strings to create a masterful work of art.
“The Roses” is a wonderful ballad further showcasing Day’s lyrics. I can’t help but think this might have been written for someone that passed, and that’s an extremely saddening thought, but through the lyrics it is apparent how much honor and gratitude Day has for that person. “When hatred crushes many and fear destroys the rest, you showed me how to stand apart and know that I am blessed.”
Ending the EP in strong fashion, “Whatever It Takes” is a rallying cry with empowering melodies and bold lyrics. If you’ve been thinking about giving up on ever finding that special someone that you’ll spend the rest of your life with, take a listen and quiet the doubters. “I stood the test of of faith just to see you here beside me, but I am what greatness makes all because of who’s inside me.”
To think that on five of these songs, Day provides all of the instrumentation is simply amazing. The Spark is great, but it will be exciting to hear the music that he can construct when has more resources at his disposal that a label may provide. He has opened for Colton Dixon but if Day keeps this up, I’m sure he will be headlining his own tour soon. Buy his EP and help ignite the bright future that Samuel Day is sure to have!