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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Artist Of The Month: Sami.The.Great - Nothing Left To See

Sami.The.Great - Nothing Left To See
2010, Bold Love

They say big things come in small packages. Whomever coined that phrase might have been thinking of Sami Akbari, AKA Sami.The.Great. Once a small fish in the big pond of the New York City Indie singer/songwriter scene, Akbari has made a name for herself with honest, creative songwriting and a dynamic presence on stage, in-person and in the studio. Akbari’s latest EP, Nothing Left To See, shows an artist very much coming into her own. Akbari shows a musical grace and maturity far beyond her relatively tender years, and displays the melodic temperament of some of the great acts of the British Invasion (The Beatles included). Sami.The.Great also has the honor of being Wildy’s World Artist Of The Month for August of 2010. Take note of her name(s), and don’t be surprised if she becomes a national (and perhaps international) presence over the next few years.

Nothing Left To See opens with "Love's A Losing Game", a bright and airy song of incandescent cynicism that is heartbreaking in its simple acceptance of a losing hand. Akbari has a voice that's as sweet as wine, and hearing her wax poetic about the inevitability of loss is a compelling experience. Truth be told, it's a wonderfully crafted song befitting a songwriter of many more than Akbari's early 20-something years, and Akbari delivers it with a deft coolness that will surprise you. "Nothing Left To See" isn't so much a come as a baring of the soul to love; Akbari lays it all on the line in one of the most honest and revealing pop songs you're likely ever to hear. You'll find yourself hanging on her every word, and your heart will leap with Akbari's voice as she ascends into her angelic upper register. In "Lose You" Akbari faces the heartbreaking realization that in order to be herself she needs to give up someone she loves. The song is heart-wrenchingly beautiful and sad. Akbari once again dips deep into the well of honest emotions and events and surprises with both the candor and musicality of the song.

"Satisfy" laments the speed at which life passes us by; not so much sad for the things she's done but an acknowledgement that whatever our choices there are things we miss. The song is a lush exploration of the emotions surrounding that one friend who always grounds you no matter how crazy life gets and no matter how far away from your roots you feel. Akbari's cover of The Police's Roxanne is dance-beat infused barn burner full of sensuality and tension. In this case the dance beat sounds a bit contrived, but Akbari's vocal is so full of vitality you can pretty much ignore the distraction. Nothing Left To See closes with "Wasted Emotion", a pensive and dreamy capitulation to a relationship that doesn't work but which she can't walk away from. There's a sense of déjà vu that underlies this song, as if she's been here before and made the same mistake time and time again but somehow cannot pull away.

Sami.The.Great indeed. I don't know where the New York City music scene has been hiding Sami Akbari but the secret is very much out. Nothing Left To See shows Akbari in many lights, and each displays an artist truly on the rise. With a voice that can hang you out to dry, break your heart and welcome you in all in the same breath, and a deft touch for songwriting that speaks of wisdom well beyond her years, Sami.The.Great is one big break away from being a household name. Nothing Left To See can be nothing less than a Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Sami.The.Great at or Left To See is currently only available via iTunes unless your lucky enough to catch Sami.The.Great live.  Expect wider distribution to follow.

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