For Samuel Bedford, the release of a new EP under his previously solo venture Selfish Son arrives at a time of transition. Relocating from the coastal charms of Falmouth to Exeter, Bedford has worked quickly with a rush of creativity, recording a new EP in a couple of weeks and playing regular shows in the hub of the city of which he now habits. With the addition of permanent members to the group and a change of pace, Selfish Son presents itself in an entirely new light, all the while retaining the emotional qualities that Bedford so pleasingly provided on his earlier releases.
It’s easy to surmise that the weight of adjustment has a distinct effect on life and creative output, yet that’s mostly viewed in a negative light, where as ‘Pikelet’ the first track from the new EP, is nothing but positive development. Bedford, first and foremost, sounds sharper and more focused as a result, while the addition of Muncie Girls‘ Lande Yo and Shit Present‘s Ben Cottam as perpetual members establishes a completely different dynamic within the group.
Positively bright progressions are matched with a fast-paced synergy, at first surprising in it’s contrast from Bedford’s previously considered approach but soon replaced by the feeling of exuberance that overwhelmingly commands the track. The addition of Lande on vocals with Bedford adds a chemistry, a further sentimental quality that’s emotional and assured, Bedford’s wretched exasperation flowing with Lande’s controlled temperament. Whilst a measure of difference can certainly be felt, ‘Pikelet’ retains Selfish Son’s distorted, quick-tempered element, the punch of drums a powerful inclusion that adds a level of familiarity, especially for those that have attended Bedford’s compelling live sets.
While the changes have presented a sense of stability sonically, lyrically Bedford and Yo evoke dense feelings of anxiety and discomfort with complacency. Bedford – consistently uncompromising from beginning to end – is unsettled and riled by his surroundings, “I don’t feel right in here / You are all gonna fight.” With the additional weight of unfamiliar settings – “I’ve never been to this place before“- the duo attempt to shed all despondency and complacency for a fresh start, unamused by the uninspired people around them – “All your friends they just live with you // how does that make you feel?”
If it hasn’t been said enough already, ‘Pikelet’ declares a new chapter for Selfish Son and Samuel Bedford personally. Yet what’s most appealing is how comfortable and inviting the track sounds in the first place, a compelling first taste of an EP, influenced by the changes, whether positive or negative, made in life.