It’s not often you hear the first lines of song by an artist and you know you’ve heard a new musical stylist. Kind of like hearing genre movers; PJ Harvey, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson et al, lone songwriters singing their individualism to the masses. This new kid on the block is Sample Answer, real name Maurice O’Connor, a twenty-three-year-old Dubliner now Londoner who first performed to audiences in high school by channelling Marc Bolan and Prince wearing glam rock threads.
Sample Answer’s title track Good Boy greets us with O’Connor’s unique vibrato vocals, a mix of Nick Cave without the angst and Paolo Nutini without the cute narrative. The intensity of his voice keeps us wanting more – that also goes for the lilting melodic acoustic guitar and tambourine smacks giving an appreciative nod to a live, not overly produced sound. Track two, Collision, shares the same eerie electronica guitar sound as melancholic popsters Coldplay, but don’t let that put you off. Proud the hidden rap number within the EP took time to grow on me but wins again on acoustic guitar prowess. The true polyester number – Textile Baby, was produced and recorded by Lestyn Polson who has worked with David Bowie and you can hear those original late great Bowie/Eno synth ideas borrowed on this track. Hold Onto Me is the anthemic number, bringing it home with a trumpet solo a blitzing brass section and backing vocals. Sample Answer’s Good Boy EP June release was picked up and played on Triple J. O’Connor’s raw enthusiasm shone when on a recent Facebook post clearly chuffed says; “Good Boy got on Triple J! An awesome radio station in Australia…The opposite side of the world! That’s amazin.” Good Boy and Collision plus some new recordings could be the sounds of this Australian summer, and if anything like this EP sampler will no doubt be amazing.