Kicking off at Gisborne’s Smash Palace on Friday 29 October, Bartells and band then return to perform at Ponsonby Social Club in Auckland on Saturday 6 November, with a final show at Hamilton’s Nivara Lounge on Saturday 13 November.
Today also sees the video premiere of ‘BRING YOU DOWN’, a lock-down collaboration featuring a cast of fellow musicians and two of his three children rocking out to the new tune. Featuring Elijah and Ruby Bartells, Jason Kerrison, Riqi Harawira, Grace Kelly, David Shanhun, Shimna Higgins, and Kevin Millar, the video was compiled by director Adam Jones.
Says Sam, “Since we were in lockdown, I didn’t have too many options, so I decided to ask a bunch of musos I know to help me out. Idea was to lip-sync the video to them playing along to it, I just told them to do whatever they felt like for the vibe and energy of the song. Plus I got the kids to fill in a couple of spots as something fun to do and keep them occupied for a bit!”
The end result is a multi-faceted observational view of their individual lockdown moods, delivered through a fun, light-hearted filter – a little respite in the time of COVID!
Recorded with his band at Roundhead Studios with producer Dave Rhodes, ‘Bring You Down’ continues to document Bartells honest and heartfelt journey of self-redemption, through his music.
Never one to shy away from revealing his true feelings, Bartells gritty lyrics once more expose the fragility of human nature, and the relatable struggle to maintain emotional stability through the ups and downs of life.
“Bring You Down” is a song about the struggles of trying to stay positive through the challenges of everyday life, and how important it is to do that. Being a good person to be around, and not wanting to cast a shadow of negativity around the people you care about. It’s not always an easy thing to achieve, but it’s important to strive for it.”
Bartells song-writing remains refreshing in its brutal honesty. Singing “Dragging you through my fight, I thought cleaning myself up would have been enough. I was wrong and I’m still not right”, speaks to his ever-evolving personal pilgrimage through music as he willingly admits that it takes more than just sobriety to keep everything on an even keel.
Meanwhile, this is the first track of many more to come, as Bartells continues to propel his song-writing ever forward. And look out for his new band project which sees him working with some renowned New Zealand artists, due to be presented later this year.