Video Premiere: Einsam – At Eye Level

Einsam is the solo project of Bristol-born songwriter and producer Sam Jackson. The songs were all devised during a four year period in which he lived in Vienna, and the German name Einsam (literally translated as “onesome”) seemed fitting for a solo project by someone called Sam, but also chimed with the project’s themes of connection to and disconnection from people, places and language.

Einsam’s debut EP Samantics (you see what he did there?) is due for release on 26th November and today we are giving you the first chance to see the video for lead single “At Eye Level”, a thrumming piece of electro post-punk that hooks onto a spoken word refrain of “How do I look? How do I see? How should I be?”, before hurtling off in a stream of self-consciousness, guitar clangs and throbs of synth towards its climax.

The songs in the Samantics EP are all looking at looking, and ways of seeing,” Sam explains. “At Eye Level is a song about appearance and representation. When you think in terms of appearance, the way you present yourself can communicate certain things about your being which precede verbal language. And viewing people in types can allow you to better relate to or interact with them. But it’s dangerous when the representations become fixed to the point where they’re inseparable from the person. It’s good to think that anyone can always be otherwise.

The tracks for the new EP were produced by CECIL, whose previous credits include PJ Harvey, Ed O’Brien and Shame, as well as Einsam’s previous three singles. “It feels like we’ve developed a good understanding by now. We toyed with “At Eye Level”‘s arrangement right up until the night before going in to record drums when we had a breakthrough. I think the break and switch up halfway helps illustrate what the song is getting at about fluidity in perception. Very grateful to him for his patience and perseverance, and overall brilliance to bring it to life.

The track is accompanied by an excellent animated video, which takes the song quite literally at its word. “For the video I’d gotten a bit hooked on Boy Tillekens‘ work with bits reminding me of one of my favourite films, The Point!. I was buzzing when he said he was up for working together and after a few conversations about the song and its meaning and how we might get that across I’m super impressed with the way it’s turned out.” 

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Article by Paul Maps
Photograph by Armando Ribeiro

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