Written Tuesday, November 5
This five-song EP by Samuel Romero is a brief and masterful collection of moving folk songs. Romero’s expert guitar playing provides a peaceful and soothing backdrop for his smooth and gentle voice.
“Reverence” is a song that celebrates gratitude and gratefulness in everything you know and experience. The string arrangement at the end, performed by Thomas Beckman and the Borealis String Quartet, is particularly moving.
Romero poses a lot of questions to the listener in his songwriting. The titular track, for example is comprised entirely of questions posed to the audience. “How will you know when your work is done? How will you know that you’ve done enough?” he sings. When he finally poses his final question, “Will you know by heart?”, the song has become a rousing mix of strings and percussion as the question repeats to a crescendo that ends the album. At the end you’re left with a lot to think about.
Know By Heart is a calm and contemplative album. It gives the listener room to breath and reflect. It’s an EP that insists you to stop and think. Sometimes that’s exactly what we need.