My favourite EP of August was ‘Homework’ (Sony Music). It is Australian singer-songwriter Sam Fischer’s third EP and it came out on August 28th, 2020, just before the very last weekend of the month and it stole my heart instantly.
It starts with This City, a song you may be familiar with as it is actually a single that was first released in January 2018 and was part of his debut EP ‘Not a Hobby’. The song didn’t get much recognition at the time although it was a fan-favourite, but then went viral on TikTok mid-2019 and it changed everything for him since the exposure led to him signing with RCA Records. It was re-released on December 13, 2019. The instrumental is very simple as it only includes guitar, electric guitar, and finger clicks. The song is about him feeling defeated by Los Angeles, a very relatable feeling for people who are trying to make it in any creative industry in a big city, although the way he wrote about it makes it sound like a love song [this city’s gonna break my heart/this city’s gonna love me then leave me alone], which makes the song relatable for everyone else too.
The second track is a stripped-back one called The Usual. With a simple synth instrumental and poignant vocals, Sam once again manages to convey his emotions with honesty. While the lyrics are written as if it was about a breakup, his feeling of being a disappointment doesn’t only occur in romantic relationships but also in regards to his parents and society as well as work, he actually came up with this song after being dropped from his first record deal.
Fischer describes the next song, Everybody’s Got Somebody, like a “live couples therapy session”. Indeed, the lyrics are an analysis of a relationship that seems perfect on the surface but if you take the time to look deeper or from another perspective, you realise it wasn’t all that good and just because you still care about and miss that person doesn’t mean you’re meant to be together. The track starts as a piano ballad but then switches to a more upbeat and electronic sound from the first chorus on.
I Got to Live is both a positive and negative song in the sense that Sam imagines his funeral in order to put into words his wish to have done everything he wants to have done in his life before it gets taken away. It was the very last song he wrote in 2019 and it was inspired by the fact that he had just signed his record deal and was finally going to do the things he had only dreamt about. It’s his own reminder to really live things fully, no matter how little they are, and appreciate them before they’re gone.
Ready demonstrates Sam’s amazing ability to turn non-romantic thoughts into a love song yet again. He reveals that he actually wrote this as a message to himself, asking when he was going to be ready to accept himself for who he is. He says it took him a while to get to where he is now emotionally and mentally and he knows that no one can love him better than he can if he would only let himself.
The last song of the EP is a 2-minute acoustic guitar track called “People I Don’t Know” and is most likely a very relatable one for everyone. It’s about how Sam caught himself judging other people harshly and felt bad about it because he realised he is just like them and people are probably saying the same things about him. He says: “By talking shit about someone else I’m projecting my own fears and insecurities on them. I talk shit about other people to make myself not feel as far behind others. ‘People I Don’t Know’ is a simple honest human truth and I’m sure I’m not alone in it.”
“Homework” is a very well written collection of heartfelt songs that, while they are very personal to the artist, can also be very meaningful to the audience, anyone can easily recognize themselves in the lyrics. It may have taken a bit longer than Sam wished for his raw, emotional voice to be heard but I think it’s safe to say we will hear more from him in the future and I personally cannot wait!
Which song from the EP speaks to you the most? My favourites are This City and Ready but I Got to Live deserves a special mention too.