Sam Himself reflects on where he’s been and where he’s going on “La Paz,” his latest single with vocals reminiscent of The National’s Matt Beringer and a subtle instrumental that lets the lyrics speak for themselves. The song’s concept came about in quarantine, while Sam was thinking back to his past road trips and travels to places like Peru, which inspired the idea.
“One night, I was driving through the desert with about two fingers of water left in the car and the aftermath of some recent chemical calamity playing out in my bloodstream,” Sam explains. “I was exhausted but stopping by the side of the road didn’t really feel like an option, so I kept going. I’m pretty sure I was heading for the Bolivian border, and I remember staring at my GPS and thinking if I can just get to La Paz, the Bolivian city, I’ll be okay. (I can be a little melodramatic when I’m hungover.) I never made it there, but La Paz nevertheless became a sort of mantra on that trip, a name for the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“La Paz” is the fourth single from Sam’s upcoming debut album, Power Ballads, set to come out in October. He started working on the project after cutting his European tour short because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Returning to his native Switzerland, Sam found himself enthralled in escapist daydreams and longing for a simpler time. Because of lockdowns, he recorded the album in some pretty unconventional places – for instance, he tackled the bass for “La Paz” in his mom’s attic.