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XXXX during the SA Labor state conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre in Adelaide, Monday, March 29, 2021. (AAP Image/Morgan Sette) NO ARCHIVING

Rock n roll cowboy Sam Brittain has today shared his sweeping new single Hitchhiker, inspired by a real encounter with a hitchhiker on the train across the Nullarbor Plain, out today – May 14.  The hooky new track is accompanied by a clip that acts as a fun and loving ode to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, created in collaboration with Mickey Manson (Maya Cumming, Hachiku). Sam Brittain is thrilled to be back with Hitchhiker, and will celebrate the release with a show at Jive in Adelaide on June 12.


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Hitchhiker is evocative of songwriting and rock n roll greats Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, while still maintaining a truly unique, modern sensibility and classic Australian flair.  This is an artist who understands how to tell a story, who understands how the peak and fall of a melody can inform how the audience interprets the narrative – and it’s so satisfying to get lost in this piece of music.  Speaking on the inspiration behind the track, Brittain says, “A few years ago I was travelling east across Australia by train when we screeched to a halt in the middle of nowhere, a few hours out of Perth.  The reason for our stoppage was that a passing train had spotted a stowaway on the motorail car.  We pulled into Kalgoorlie station and the man was arrested by police.  Apparently he simply pleaded not to be sent back to Perth.  The man’s actions seemed extreme – it made me wonder what drove him to such desperate measures? What was he running from?  The song was born from exploring that feeling of desperation, the fear, and inescapable self loathing.”

Sam Brittain tells Jen his Top FAVE 5 CLASSIC SINGER SONGWRITERS. Great picks!

Bruce Springsteen 

Bruce has a way of painting pictures with his lyricim that I have always admired.  His stint on Broadway only further cemented this for me.  The way he describes even the smallest details of his hometown, family and experiences with such vivid romanticism and wonder is truly something to behold

Tom Petty 

My love for this man’s entire discography is no secret.  The way Tom and Mike Campbell structure songs and their sonic choices is a yardstick I have always tried to aim for.  And plenty of 12 string Riickebaker never goes astray.  Wildflowers was a revolutionary album for me, and that is just the beginning of a timeless catalog I revere.

Patty Griffin 

1000 kisses was the first album I heard of Pattys, the opening track “Rain” is an absolute masterpiece.  The string arrangements towards the end are truly moving and her voice is so authentic she can translate pain into something so beautiful floored me when I discovered her music.  

Amos Lee

His 2011 album release “Mission Bell” is still on regular rotation in our home.  Vivid imagery and stark contrasting tracks one again with brilliant lyricism.  “Violin” is a favourite and so wonderfully organic.  

Phoebe Bridgers 

Phoebe is a household name these days and with good reason.  Punisher is without a doubt one of the strongest releases I have ever heard.  The opening band track “Garden Song” and that baritone guitar set such a tone from the onset.  But my personal favorite is the brutal honesty of “Graceland Too” and “Chinese Satellite” are masterpieces.   It’s brilliant from first to last breath.   

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The video for Hitchhiker is a 70s, saturated, vibrant dream; it pays playful homage to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Brittain is chased across the desert by an ominous recurring character.  Reflecting on the making of the clip, Brittain explains, “I wanted to create the same feeling of being chased across the desert by your own demons that I imagine the man who got arrested on that train must have felt.  But instead of Johnny Depp and Beneci Del Toro’s characters seeing hallucinations of bats in the sky, we are seeing visions of our hitchhiker –  played wonderfully by our drummer Matt Birkin – as many different characters throughout the video’s storyline – from wanderer to gas station attendant, to traffic cop to prisoner to himself.” 

Pumped about the new release, Sam Brittain is set to wow audiences at Adelaide’s Jive on June 12, celebrating all things Hitchhiker.  It’s been a long time coming, as Brittain reflects, “After a failed attempt at recording the new album, and throwing the whole project in the bin, it feels incredible to finally be able to release new music that has not only achieved the vision I had from the beginning, but surpassed my expectations, and I most certainly believe that’s entirely due to starting over with my best friends in town.  The quality of this release is all due to the people in the room, and their love and investment in the project.”

Hitchhiker is out now.


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