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Over his 15-year career, Sam Mehran started a lot of projects and played in a lot of bands. He released everything from pugnacious dance-punk to mesmeric disco loops; unhinged hip-hop beats to perfectly poised pop songs. Having passed away in July 2018, he left behind a body of work that’s diverse, but never unfocused. As a songwriter, guitarist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, Sam possessed an instinctive understanding of popular music, able to break down a genre’s formal nuances and stylistic subtleties and remake them in his own image.
Cold Brew, out on July 28th to coincide with the third anniversary of Sam’s passing, is a posthumous collection of instrumental rock music that Sam recorded in Los Angeles between April and May 2018. Compiled under the guidance of Sam’s father, Abbas Mehran, and curated by Sam’s friends Nicholas Weiss and Katie Wagner, it’s the first time that Sam’s solo music will be released under his own name.
Additionally, the previously unavailable Outer Limits Recordings collection Singles, Demos & Rarities (2007-2010) is now streaming for the first time – listen HERE.
Before he died, Sam recorded over one hundred songs for Cold Brew, a selection of which are presented here in their original form, without any additional production or remixing. Cold Brew was always intended to be an instrumental album, driven by effortlessly hooky guitars, warm, golden sound, and puckish attitude. Using dry, driving sonics without much reverb or washy ambience, it’s informed by rock’s history but not reverent towards it.
Sam was usually very critical of his own work, with a tendency to second guess himself. But when speaking with friends, he talked about how freeing it was to make Cold Brew: to keep the songs short, to not dwell on production, to not think about his voice, to simply enjoy himself. With Cold Brew’s release, both longtime fans and newcomers to Sam Mehran’s world can enjoy his whimsical, wonderful legacy, too.