Sammy Strittmatter: LA indie-rock singer-songwriter's latest album, "Get Out Of The City" is filled with riveting cinematic soundscapes

Sammy Strittmatter

Sammy Strittmatter is an LA transplant indie-rock alternative singer-songwriter, who tells us to Get Out Of The City on his fourth full-length release.  The staying and going/pushing and pulling themes in the album is a reflection of his life journey between his hometown Arlington, Texas, where he released his previous albums Last Night In Oceanside (2008), Moon Orange Lips (2010), and Here But Gone (2012), and California where he now resides. 

Get Out Of The City starts off with the opener “All I Hear Is Go” that is filled from the get-go with fuzzed out guitars.  Layers of combined vocal harmonies go on to create an ambient sound as the reverberating vocals trace this track.  Melodic and catchy, this song evokes an invigorating tune that contains notes of the dreamy and hazy in this haunting track.

On “We Are The Evening Tide,” the song starts off with some numerating over the acoustic guitar.  This is a striking track filled with a catchy and upbeat vibe.  A stripped down piece, this is a simple arrangement of just acoustic guitar with vocals.  “We Are The Evening Tide” is a warm and heartfelt song that gradually incorporates a smattering of percussions in this acoustic track.

“Indigo Bunting” is a striking retro song that conjures a 50’s inspired sound.  Some melodious keys pave this song.  A strong underlining sense to the percussions run the gamut of this track, giving off a more energized appeal.  This is a deliriously catchy song that will have listeners tapping their feet and bobbing their heads to this righteous flow.  The bluesy cadence of the harmonica also trace this moving track.

On the title-track, some intensive noodling on the acoustic guitar opens up this song as cavernous vocals goes onto unfold in the track.  A relaxing vibe pervades with a touch of a lullaby feel to it.  The song picks up half-way into the track with drums, percussions, and keys joining in on the arrangement.  What progresses is a dynamic and dreamy soundscape that is about escaping your loneliness to find something better beyond the horizon.

On “I Pray For You,” some hand claps set up a striking backbeat to this song.  The vocals sound off in an echo-y manner as a haunting piano tune paces the extent of the track.  The tune is catchy and contagious, exuding an infectious manner.  The trickling in of the xylophone also adds an enhancing element to this song.

“I Feel Fine” has a Beach Boys vibe with happening acoustic harmonies that conjure up a dynamic garage rock feel with reverberating guitars and vocals.  The track consists of a simple arrangement of just vocals and acoustic guitar.

On “Casting Yellow,” a flight departure casts a moody atmosphere to this song and right away we are thrown into a riveting piano melody while an upbeat electronic progresses in the background.  What results is a warm sound with an arresting vibe pervading with a melodious flow.  Some distinct and elegant strings provides a magnetic escape to the song. 

“Blind To Blue” contains a slow-burning electronic beat.  Gradually a piano tune accompanies the beats.  Fuzzy guitar riffs underline this track.  The chorus picks up with a catchy and faster paced beat.  This is a really dynamic rock ballad.  The song cascades with a melodic flow from with piano keys, electronic beats, and reverberating guitar riffs coalescing in the background. 

“Dark Moon Daunting” flares with soaring synths and a bouncy electronic beat that jumpstarts this track.  Next, the cadence of the piano trickles in.  Reverb-filled vocals go on to pave this song giving off an ambient and atmospheric vibe.

“When She Sleeps” is a stirring melodic acoustic track.  It is soothing and quiet and resembles a lullaby with its tilting quality.  The song consists of a lone acoustic guitar that alone accompanies the combined vocal harmonies.  Gradually the sounds of the piano seeps in.  This dynamic cadence is reminiscent of a Bon Iver-inspired feel with its lush and hushed undertones.

The following number, “Trinity,” recalls a garage rock sound as acoustic guitar, bass, strings, and drums pervade on this track.  Electronic beats also add an expected buoyancy to the song.  This is a soaring track that exudes an airy and atmospheric appeal.

“Matches” begins with a solemn piano melody occupying the space within this acoustic song.  The track has a melancholy feel to it.  A rich and resounding instrumental song, the piano alone makes an appearance on this track.  Some synths also add an ambient layer to the background of this richly executed song.

On “My Sugar Regret,” the harmonica traces the start of this track while an engrossing piano melody makes its way into the song.  The track has a melancholy vibe filled with somber details.  An ambient and atmospheric feel is also elicited on this song.

On “Zuma,” some lush strings give off an ambient and soaring feel to the music.  This is a rich and atmospheric soundscape.  Like “Matches,” the track consists of pure instrumentals.  But the lack of vocals does little to defuse listeners’ interests.  The song grabs viewer’s attention with its dynamic sound.

This a stunning album filled with a striking and moving cadence. 

With a cacophony of sounds that incorporates hand claps, a sonorous array of reverberating guitars, and fizzy vocals, this canopy of compelling sonic displays will definitely pique your interests for more. 

The tracks radiate with a delicate yearning to be lost and then found, to fulfill and reach out to abandonment, and then to hope but not fear. 

There is no hiding in these songs.  Without retracting into overflowing emotions, Get Out Of The City, totes the delicate line between spaces forged, distance acquired, and relationships on disrepair.  This is a brave piece of artwork that delineates between the rough patches and to adversities we might face just to get there. 

Sammy Strittmatter has harnessed together an honest set of songs that provides for a riveting cinematic scope with its bulletproof soundscapes that are an intoxicating mix of instrumentals and reverb-controlled vocals. 

This is definitely rock music with depth.  If you have an appetite for something more than this album is for you.

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My Nguyen

My Nguyen is an album reviewer from San Diego, CA. She regularly contributes to Her work has appeared in the following journals: Quietpoly, Community Voices, Espresso 1, The Whistling Fire, The Pedestal Magazine, The Straylight Magazine, Baby Lawn Literature, and Conceit Magazine.

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