Penned before the start of lockdown, but ever-pertinent as the chaos of this pandemic continues to unfold, single Damaged Goods is a vulnerable, heartfelt exploration of the soul of artist Sam Winston. What started as an expression of personal pain and internal strife has taken on a much larger meaning, conveying a story of a more universal struggle and accepting oneself when you feel that you’re no longer in control.
The South London based Winston says of the track, “‘Damaged Goods’ is about losing what I believe was part of my core, and trying to rebuild it. It’s from a place of real vulnerability for me. It came from letting go and being ok with the possibility of being in a state of anxiety, recognising that I was to some degree suffering and that I wanted to make a change. It’s an honest commitment.”
The track has a dark, indie folk feel, defined by plucky acoustic guitar, punchy bass, and a gradual build into more driving percussive section, complete with a delicate array of backing vocals to highlight the most compelling lyrics. The build is tremendous, never getting too orchestral or dramatic, but the pickup in the rhythm lends a sense of optimism to the track towards its end, creating the feeling as though brighter days are on the horizon.
Winston’s voice is the centerpiece of this composition. With a tone reminiscent of James Blunt – but perhaps with a bit more of an edge – his emotions translate beautifully in his vocals. You can hear the raw, powerful feeling that inspired the track in each and every line. And the duality in these lyrics could not be more apparent, as the question Winston posed for himself when writing this song is something so many people who find themselves out of work and down on their luck ask now: “What to do with damaged goods?”
This track represents a shift in sonic direction for Sam Winston, but if he continues down this path of stripped back, emotion-forward, genuine music, we suspect it will be far from his last release of this kind. For fans of evocative singer-songwriter material, with pop sensibilities and a profound message that will resonate with most everyone – do yourself a favor a stream Damaged Goods Below.
BELOW: Listen to Damaged Goods, and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Sam Winston by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!