Here I Am is the trailer single from S J’s latest record and it brings together the best elements of his Britpop and American songbook influences. You can hear inspiration from a number of artists including John Lennon, Hank Marvin, Noel Gallagher, Damien Rice and George Michael. What’s especially thrilling is how it draws on and refines his own style too. Those of us who’ve followed S J over the years can hear his own voice being raised to new heights.
Denney achieves an apparently effortless drive without shouting the odds or making the listener’s ears bleed. The song starts with a beautifully blended acoustic undercurrent and electric hook, underpinned by drums and bass outriders that subtly insist on your attention. Added to the standard sounds is a delightful cello, superbly played by Louise Dearsley. The weaving sympathy of the strings softens the harsher edges of this tough love lesson. And the emotional high point of the track is scored with a perfectly placed trumpet break from Rus Rogers.
The foundations of the track were recorded live and click-free, giving it an extra dynamic that is often lacking from modern-day recordings.