Indie rocker Sam Himself, dubbed the King of Tears by Swiss national radio, makes the case for a new nickname with ‘Mr. Rocknroll’, the third single leading up to his sophomore LP Never Let Me Go (due January 27 via Sony Music / Taxi Gauche Records).
The two-time Swiss Music Awards nominee’s latest release is a caustic send-up of the rock’n’roll cliché: “it’s only rock’n’roll and so on,” Sam grumbles repeatedly over brooding guitars and hypnotic synth hooks in this pressure cooker of a song – until it finally explodes.
To record ‘Mr. Rocknroll’, Sam reunited with his longtime producer (aka ‘Second Beatle’) Daniel Schlett (Iggy Pop; The War on Drugs) and mastering engineer Greg Calbi (David Bowie; Bruce Springsteen). They were joined by JD Werner (Ghostface Killah; Lee “Scratch” Perry) on bass and drummer Chris Egan (Solange; Blood Orange).
True to the song’s theme, Sam teamed up with Swiss couturier YVY – whose fans include Billie Eilish and Madonna, according to the New York Times – for a line of sustainably manufactured signature leather pants, as seen on the ‘Mr. Rocknroll’ single cover. Sam Himself’s very own Buckle Trousers, designed by Yvonne Reichmuth, will be available worldwide in December, following the launch of YVY’s new collection.
The music video picks up on the beautifully weird aesthetic that has come to define Sam’s visual language while also charting new territory for the artist. Director Raya al Souliman and photographer Horatiu Sovaiala of Romanian-Swiss Carnation Studio created the clip for ‘Mr. Rocknroll’ based on a script Sam helped develop together with YVY founder Yvonne Reichmuth. Mirroring the monologic voice of an imagined audience in the song’s lyrics, the video shows a leather-clad Sam prancing and parading through an empty Zurich café, his own reflection being his only witness.