Toronto, singer/songwriter Sameer Cash releases his new album This City, on September 11 via Postwar Records. The full-length Written in between bar shifts and soundchecks and recorded in a garage behind a Chinese restaurant in downtown Toronto. Produced by Matthew Bailey, engineered by Chris Stringer (Timber Timbre), mixed by D James Goodwin (Kevin Morby, Craig Finn) and mastered by Philip Bova Shaw (Feist, Andy Shauf), This City is the result of the kind of heartbreaking, and redemptive work that compels us to be better.
Sameer Cash was raised on a diet of Rock & Roll records and Hindu fairy tales. His father, born to a large Catholic family in Scarborough, Ontario, left the suburbs to follow the ungovernable religion of 1980’s post-punk. Cash’s mother, born among the mango trees of Kenya, by way of India, clung to her own upbringing through childhood memories and her mother’s cooking, seeking comfort and closure through many Canadian Prairie winters. Cash was born into an amalgamation of communities, converging at the point of least resistance: music (his father wrote and toured the world in various bands from the 1980’s to 2010’s, and his mother became a music manager, now in the industry for the past 30 years).
These threads of identity are embedded in the delicate and powerful nine songs that make up the debut album from Sameer Cash. This City is an album about family and place, about friendships and how they get frayed. ‘When it gets too much, stay in touch with your mother and your high school band,’ he sings near the end of the album.
The title track is a powerful anthem about the realities of working, living, and trying to thrive in a metropolis that seems to have abandoned its heart, its community, and its artists. Throughout the song, Cash is coming to terms with his love-hate relationship with the city that has shown him the beauty of multicultural co-op housing, alternative public schools, and community activism, and has also shown how quickly those things can be cast aside. The rest of the album sees intimate moments of quiet fortitude (“Driveway Moment”, “Easily”), rollicking blasts of glory (“Stay In Touch”, “Paralyzed”), and honest narratives on life and work in the city – a genre Cash has christened “gentrification ballads.” This City is an ambitiously understated album that’ll soak you in melancholy and leave you out to dry in the sun.