Toronto, ON-based acoustic folk group, Samways releases their new single, “The Mother”, as well as their debut album, Untrodden Ways.
With previously released singles “The Wind of Death” and the album’s title track, “Untrodden Ways,” serving as previews to the 10+2-track LP, the Toronto-based innovative quartet unveils another intriguing mashup of turn of the century poetry in “The Mother.”
Not this century, but the last one… Complete with a soundscape that is totally today; the song is ancient prose living in perfect harmony with modern folk.
The lyrics for “The Mother” come from confederation-era poet, Wilfred Campbell, the band shares. “Campbell was one of the first great Canadian poets,” they explain. “He was also the editor of Canada’s first compilation of poetry, The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse (1913).
“This poem is a response to an old German superstition that a dead mother coming back in the night to suckle the baby she has left on earth may be known by the hollow pressed down in the bed where she lay.”
From throes of pain they buried me low,
For death had finished a mother’s woe.
But under the sod, in the grave’s dread doom,
I dreamed of my baby in glimmer and gloom.
This centuries-old story may be darkly macabre, but Samways turns it into a song that is all aural sunshine.
With a beautiful lyric melody — plus harmonies from the band’s trio of stellar vocalists carrying Campbell’s verse alongside driving eighth notes of the guitars and rhythm section — Untrodden Ways’ “The Mother” transcends standard spook-laden lore into head bobbing and foot tapping.
For Samways, this is much more than simply spinning an old wives’ tale into a groovy new tune — and distinct style found throughout all corners of their breakthrough release. The brainchild of guitarist/composer Nathan Hiltz, the inspiration for the group’s sound is equal parts high Anglican choral tradition and Canadiana folk set against a wide range of acoustic guitar styles. Each song across Untrodden Ways draws lyrics from a classic Canadian poem from the likes of Susannah Moodie, EJ Pratt, and the great Bliss Carmen.
“This project is so special to me,” Hiltz recently said in a recent interview with us. “It’s a sort of ‘dream’ band where I combine my loves of poetry, choral music, rhythm guitar playing on flat top acoustic, folk music, and Canadiana.”
Check out “The Mother” below, and stay up to date with Samways via their socials.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.