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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Includes special bonus track recorded during the making of Edges.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 28 Samuel Joseph Kim releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Edges, Disappear (single), Kindness, Penumbra, Tactile, Hunter (single), Speakerphone, Anastasis, and 20 more. , and , .

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1.
Hunter 03:22
Am I on the hunt For some truth or dare Are you lost inside Your two-faced prayers Dressed in white and black As a thief or lover Let me go And tell me that it's over Tooth and nail crawling You know I'm not there The deeper the cut The less I feel is there Dressed in white and black As a thief or lover Let me go And tell me that it's over I felt your hand grabbing at my shoulder Who's the child and is it over Is this what you want Do you even care Is this what you want Do you even care Is it truth or dare
2.
Choke on truth If you're gonna choke at all Take the smoke Tip the scales And watch em fall Choke on truth If you're gonna choke at all Take the smoke Tip the scales And watch em fall How do you fit in? What's the message that's sent? Are you a means to an end? Or a final solution? Where's the air to breathe Where’s the air to breathe Why can't the dreamers dream to belong? Will you lose us in the Castles of claims False titles, dead kings and stains Means to an end Lazy and bent Where's the air to breathe Where’s the air to breathe Why can't the dreamers dream to belong? Are the creeds a maze To lose where we belong To separate the stories From the short and the long Who says who fits in? What's the message that's sent? What's the devil's intent? I see no solution Where's the air to breathe Where’s the air to breathe Why can't the dreamers dream to belong?
3.
Disappear 04:02
Hands in your ears To break up the voices Confused by the choices Stuck inside your head When the lines were so defined For insincere souls Needing relief Release and control A circle of doubt Constricting within your mind No pity for the weak Who will never survive When the lines were so defined For insincere souls Needing relief Release and control This is how you disappear This is how you disappear This is how you disappear Watch me sink in that river This is how you disappear Watch me sink in that river This is how you disappear The bottom looks so clear This is how you disappear This is how you disappear Watch me sink in that river The bottom looks so clear This is how you disappear
4.
Translation 03:09
You spoke with tongues The sky was blood You stretched your hand I drank the flood And now we wait For divine intervention The codes and frequencies Of your translation The Light won't rise The sea won't land Your signs won't speak I don't understand Leave me here I don't understand
5.
Blessed 04:14
Blessed are the broken Blessed are the hungry Blessed are the cracks Letting in the light Did you hide inside While the fire died? I know that I have heard But will I ever know?
6.
Spotlight 03:37
Is this the story that you won’t end Where the blood is the ink And the body the pen Will I run to your arms when the fire consumes Will they bury me alive at the moment of doom What is sustaining us Holding us in place What is surrounding us A legacy with no face What keeps me up And makes me scream It sets me up I'm burning in the bright lights I'm burning in the bright lights Our smiles are locked as we try to survive Revive your pride by being a lie Hold my words to throw them back when I fall Turn like the wind and then I’m no more What is surviving us A legacy with no face What keeps me up And makes me scream It sets me up I'm burning in the bright lights I'm burning in the bright lights I'm burning in the bright lights I'm burning in the bright lights Burn, burn forever What keeps me up and makes me screa
7.
Move Away 04:29
Move away from what's easy Have faith that it's over Believe that we're done Relish the closure It's all in the air And not the words that we said A fantasy returned Returned or dead Let's move away That's how it goes Here ends the dance The one you do not know Let's move away That's how it goes Here ends the dance It's what you know What if people find out You don't believe anything What if people find out You don't believe anything What if people find out You don't believe anything Just move away To live is to feel oneself lost These are the only genuine ideas The ideas of the shipwrecked All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce Just move away Just move away Let's move away That's how it goes Here ends the dance The ones you don't know Just move away Just move away

about

A synthetic post-punk deconstruction of hypocrisy. Ancient synths and futuristic guitars expose the falsehoods of our politics, religion and hearts.

What's been forgotten at the edges because we have blindly followed the lies that were easy?

"I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history.” - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It's been difficult to write about this latest album. I think because it came more from an emotional place rather than a concept. It wasn't easily captured and circumscribed in words. In fact, I think I needed some time away from this album to fully understand it. Perhaps it was only until this week after Martin Luther King Sunday that perhaps something became clear.

I still remember one of the key songs that started this album, "Hunter" was recorded at the end of 2021. Seattle was stopped in snow and freezing cold, there was a death in the family, and we were all unsure everyday if we were still in the pandemic or not. I recorded this seeing the unrest and anger in my soul towards the state of the world and the state of my inner soul. I was not at my best and I had no compassion for myself and the world around me. There was a moment at that time of making this song I felt so profoundly alone. I don't fully understand all the lyrics of "Hunter" myself but in that moment, it captured the state of my heart and expressed it better than anything else could.

Much of this album is lashing out in frustration at the hypocrisies and inconsistencies of politics, religion and the heart. I kept encountering zealots in all three worlds and found many had no regards for those on the edges and for how we were all tearing each other apart. Even worse, I saw that same lack of integrity in who I was. I had no idea what to do. When we went through a worldwide crisis, we didn't come out better. When people are being dehumanized we don't do the right thing. When we can't even collectively acknowledge that it is better to cease fire rather than killing innocents in schools and nations, we keep pressing on with our self-righteousness. Most galling of all were the religious zealots of our time pushing out their narratives of justification in the name of their higher power. Despite my vitriol against dead institutions of religion, I felt a twisted kinship with the archaic prophets who wanted everything to burn: but why? What's the point when you can't trust what will be pulled from the ashes? I felt like I was trapped in a downward spiral of judgment and loathing. Is all that's left to do is to let it go and disappear? The allure of pessimism was all too appealing.

These was a paradoxical spirit of anger and disengagement that coursed through the songs of "Edges". I certainly felt like I was on the edge of something and I didn't know what would happen if I fell off or jumped.

The words of Soren Kierkegaard felt right for this album:

"To live is to feel oneself lost..."

"These are the only genuine ideas: the ideas of the shipwrecked... all the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce."

As I was writing "Move Away" I knew that these words were completely in line with what was churning inside even though I didn't even fully comprehend it at the time. Maybe this struggle to confront ourselves is the most important and vital thing we can do, yet who wants to take on this difficult and murderous journey?

I think if I could identify the sonic spirit from which the album was birthed, it would be from anger. I realized I mastered the mix pretty loud but I felt it was necessary because it needed to be heard with volume over fidelity and subtlety. The post-punk disillusionment of bands I loved like Joy Division were the soundtrack of this season and are obviously present in spirit throughout this album. I wanted icy and angular melodic lines fused with cold drum machines beating into an empty cavern of reverb. I wanted the vocals to be distorted, warbled and harsh. The tempos needed to be frenetic or lethargic. I knew the album would be exhausting to listen to in some ways but it felt like anything else would be dishonest.

It was only a month after the release of the album on Martin Luther King Jr. Day when I was listening to King's Nobel Prize acceptance speech that I was given a momentary gift of clarity: when I heard these particular words I felt like my soul was grabbed still: "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history.”

Yes, that was it. That was the source of the anger: all of the ambiguity! The lack of conviction. The absence of truth. The forsaking of vision. The void of compassion. The uncertainty of our collective future. The lack of right-ness. I was railing against all the ambiguity I was steeped in. I was cornering my soul to decide on its final response to the universal ambiguity so palpable to me.

And who knew it as well as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King?

Dr. King saw things and stood against things we will never see as closely as him, but he still was able to say to the nations "I refuse to accept despair."

This line haunted me throughout the night. I felt rebuked gently and devastatingly at the same time.

He showed me a path forward.

It's up to me to see if I will step off the edge and join him.

credits

released December 1, 2023

Recorded, engineered and produced by Samuel Joseph Kim
(c) 2023 strangers and angels

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Samuel Joseph Kim Seattle, Washington

Samuel Kim is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer currently based in Seattle, WA

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