• emily marshman

SINGLE REVIEW: sam fender releases new track "hold out" + plays in the radio 1 live lounge


Unlike anything we've heard from him before, Newcastle's own Sam Fender is back - after a string of cancelled shows and some serious backlash from fans - better than ever with his first single of the new year "Hold Out," a bass- and guitar-heavy, heart-melting tune. It's sure and earnest, starting slow and building up to the chorus in that special way only Sam Fender can, keeping us company in our loneliness, before slowing back down and leaving us with only ourselves.


"Hold Out" seems to be Fender's contribution to the pool of Valentine's singles dropping this week, with his own yearning, almost nihilistic, flair added. The secret sauce in any Sam Fender track is the reminder that he's one of us - he grew up with us, watched the same romantic films, listened to the same love songs, developed the same feeling that love only truly exists in fiction and fantasy. In "Hold Out," Sam watches as everyone else falls in love, "sharing coats and one-liners," while he stands at the sidelines waiting - for who, I'm not sure, but for someone all the same. The most beautiful aspect of this song is the instrumentals. I cannot get enough. I love Sam's voice, I love his lyrics, but God, does his band know how to make music.


In support of the release of his new single, Sam has made an appearance in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, playing his last single, "Saturday," and a rearrangement of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" that knocked me right on my ass.





He also released a brilliant short film to accompany "Hold Out," directed by the infallible Jack Whitefield. The film's a love letter to his hometown, North Shields, to his fans, and to touring, which one could argue truly is the adventure of a lifetime for a musician.


I love Hypersonic Missiles more than anything. I've loved this era of Sam Fender's career so much. But if this is any indication of what we're in store for from him in the future, I'll gladly leave his debut behind. Everything he does is more gigantic, more soulful, than anything he's made before. He's constantly one-upping himself. He'll rise to legendary status this year - especially after an endorsement from Sir Elton John and the honor of performing at his AIDS Foundation Oscars party and his BRIT nomination for Best New Artist - I'm sure of it.


Sam Fender can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and his website. He's on tour now and has just been announced as a headliner on the BBC Radio 1 stage at Reading + Leeds this year. "Hold Out" - and the rest of his discography - can be streamed anywhere you listen to music.

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