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 9 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.
There are 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”, “$3000”). This City is an ambitiously understated album that’ll soak you in melancholy and leave you out to dry in the sun.
While surely a forerunner for one of 2020’s most exciting releases, Sameer Cash’s This City is a journey you’ve been telling yourself you need to make but just haven’t gotten around to. Now you Can. Don’t worry though, Cash has done all the heavy lifting. All you have to do is push play.