Sometimes art is nothing more than creating your own world when the one you live in makes you feel estranged. It’s hard not to see that feeling in the world Sam Austins is creating. It somehow fuses the energy of nineties alternative with the R&B melodies of Frank Ocean, the aspirational aesthetics of high fashion with the authentic storytelling of Detroit culture. After meeting at a Vogue shoot and appearing together in the June issue alongside Kaytranada, Austins linked with NYC-based indie-alt artist Sir Chloe for his second single “JOY FOR YOUTH.” It draws on all his influences to create a sonic time capsule that nostalgically captures the rebellion, bravery and bliss of youth. Directed by Jax Anderson, the official visual harnesses the essence of adolescent melodrama and innocent ignorance of a hazy Midwest summer. Due in October via Atlantic Records, Austins’ debut project HOMELESS STAR is a genre-defying coming-of-age album telling the story of a young man finding his place in a world he’s never fit.
“JOY FOR YOUTH” is a sonic time capsule, surrounding the aura of childhood bliss and teenage rebellion. I had so much fun getting Dana on this record with me, bringing her to Detroit for the video, to peek a little bit into my world from her lens. It was important to me that the key components of the record were storytelling, exploration, and bravery, which were all quintessential pieces of my youth. – Sam Austins
It was a privilege to work on “JOY FOR YOUTH” with Sam, he’s a fantastic songwriter and I was honored when he asked me to contribute a verse to his song. I love the gratitude expressed in the piece, a thesis which I interpreted as appreciating where you are and what you have really spoke to me. – Sir Chloe
The Detroit-born and Los Angeles-based artist, model, and maverick creative kicked off HOMELESS STAR with “KILOS,” hinging on an evocative guitar line offset by a lo-fi beat as melodies bubble up over the backdrop. The accompanying visual brought his words to life as he leaves a shady motel to roam the empty streets at night before joining a giant Donnie Darko-style bunny in a diner. As Billboard noted in the visual premiere, “With his musical style, Austins is a boundary-breaker, challenging long-held ideas of what it means to be an alternative artist.” Austins then tapped Norway’s Jimi Somewhere to breathe new life into “KILOS (Jimi’s Version).” Although Jimi Somewhere recreating a song about the fireworks and gunshots of Detroit may seem left-of-center, it’s a true testament to the transcendent quality of incredible songwriting. The original “KILOS” uses metaphors to highlight complicated forces that have shaped Austins’ young adult life, while Jimi Somewhere’s lush, lo-fi reinterpretation transforms that personal story into something altogether universal.