Sam Densmore is available at Apple Music.
by Walter Price
Taken aback when you know it’s coming is a paradox. Accepting the inevitable outcome is harsh and drenched in reality. When you’re gifted with a talent to transfer those experiences into song, you’re blessed.
Portland’s Sam Densmore has recently released a modern folk collection, “Open Marriage”, that explores the realities of life choices and the subsequent outcomes. At times with a wink and a smile. Honest odes to emotions and moments the songwriter has weathered. Not in heavy-handed portrayals, rather beautiful inroads of acceptance. Heartbreaking and hopeful.
Sam Densmore stopped by The GTC to go in-depth track by track “Open Marriage”.
Up All Night
Internal conflict, physically being a faithful husband, sitting at home, vigilantly waiting for my wife to come home from wherever she was while simultaneously contemplating being with other women. It’s a description of the cognitive dissonance, the yin & yang that came with considering opening (what I believed to be) a monogamous relationship at the time.
Having my emotions sneak up on me. I felt numb in the face of the open marriage like I’d been evaporating slowly. It’s a metaphor, the creek dries up, but it eventually rains down and floods you.
Wide Eyed Tripper
About a master manipulator, someone who puts you down while seeming to lift you up, a liar who gets inside your head. He believes it’s ok to be fake if it helps you get ahead.
Things That I Don’t Know
A simple idea for a song, it’s about being lied to in a relationship over and over again.
Better Off Alone
I have some deep dark parts of my early life experience that I find difficult to talk about. Suffice it to say I had a rough childhood in a lot of ways. It’s hard to have intimate friendships or love relationships when you feel you have to be vigilant about opening up too much for fear of being judged by a past that you couldn’t control. This tune is about being in that place where you know your perspective is skewed in ways other people probably won’t understand. You’re doing your best, it’s not good enough, you know it, but still, you can’t change it. You feel you have to go through it alone because it’s too much trouble bother someone else because whatever you have to say will probably make the situation worse.
Sometimes having one too many lovers can be overwhelming. When I play this tune live I like to point out that it’s possible to have only one lover and still have one too many!
I once had a marriage counselor who told me that I worried too much about what everyone else in my life was thinking about me or the role I played in their lives, to the point that I was avoiding opportunities and shutting myself down in my own pursuits in order not to hurt the people close to me. Basically, her suggestion was to start looking out for #1 and then branch out again. I was shocked by that idea. I’m loyal to a fault sometimes.
Her idea seemed so counter to my intuitions I couldn’t get with it. She pointed out that as you pursue what you want in life, you are bound to lose some people along the way for various reasons, and that it’s ok to let them go as you grow. When I wrote the song, “Love yourself, fall in love” was sarcasm. It’s a meditation of the line between having enough self-confidence to get by in life vs being a narcissist.
I wrote this song about my ex-wife. We were separated and I hated it. I wrote it to get her back, and it worked at the time.
This song is about soul-crushing self-doubt leading to self-inflicted captivity in a relationship. “Am I an Asshole? or just being who I am, doing the best with what I’ve got?”
I had a girlfriend and she’d call and I’d always pick up but the flip side was the opposite. It’s about being emotionally pathetic and pining for someone who doesn’t really care about you.
[ 8. June 2017 ]
Open Marriage + Black Velvet Unicorn
Artist photo by Roderick Allen Photography
All Songs Written by Sam Densmore
Sam Densmore – Lead Vocals, Acoustic/ Electric Guitar, Piano
Sarah Anne Wolff – Bass, Backing Vocals
Blaine Heinonen – Percussion, Backing Vocals
Jameson “Magic” Wandling – Keys, Electric Mandolin, Backing Vocals
Curtis Irie – Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jim Cramer – Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals