My first impression of the first track off Sambassadeur‘s new LP, European, is that the song is easily their finest yet. With an emotive piano intro and outro, orchestral pop sensibilities, and schizophrenic percussion, “Stranded” seems to be a turning point for the band. Sambassadeur has always been a group to flaunt instrumentation, but here it’s never been as clear and forward, from the strings that enter as the introductory piano fades, to the deep clarinet solo just past the midpoint.
And the lyrics are at their finest as well: When your feet are moving easily / and the fireworks are on / You’re exactly where you want to be… This song is truly Sambassadeur at their greatest. With powerful songs like “The Park” (Migration, 2007) and “Between The Lines” (Sambassadeur, 2005) populating their past releases, I’m sure it’s safe to say that European has great things in store for us.
European hits February 22 via Labrador Records.
Sambassadeur: Stranded [mp3]