Reviews

Vines and Vibes: Pairing Wine With Sam O.B.’s Positive Noise

In partnership with the St Andrews Wine Company, Saint Audio is selecting one very special album per month to match with a curated selection of wine. Miles Bolland has expertly paired a wine for each song off of Sam O.B.’s latest album, Positive Noise. Read on for Miles’s selections, as well as my recap of the NYC artist’s LuckyMe release. All wines are available for purchase on the St Andrews Wine Company’s website.

 1. “Nearness”: Given the upbeat and slightly funky nature, you want to go for something a little out there as well. Therefore, I feel Kortpad Kaaptoe from Blank Bottle would be a nice accompaniment. Made from Fernao Pires—a practically unknown grape from Portugal— it’s a funky white that is admittedly bigger and bolder than the music itself but the apricots, pineapple and spice should be most enjoyable.

2. “Common Ground“: The light and happy sounds of the song evoke a summery feel and from that I say the Villa Blanche from Calmel & Joseph. A light and fruity but nicely refined Sauvignon Blanc.

3. “Balance”: A more relaxed song—you want something that’s not going to rock the boat but is still enjoyable. The Pinot Noir from les Volcans fills that role nicely. A beautiful example of the grape, nice red fruit, a touch of astringency to keep it all balanced, should compliment the song nicely.

4. “Salt Water”: This feels like a more adult song, and as such the wine should match that. The Cabernet Franc from Waterkloof should do the trick. Cherry and plums with some greener notes, a gentle and approachable wine.

5. “Revolve“: This raises the tempo slightly and reminds me of those funky eighties tunes you occasionally hear on the radio. Tacchetto Bardolino from Guerrieri Rizzardi, with its rich berry flavours, darker aromatic spices and lively but smooth palate would go well here.

6. “Samurai”: Chateau Coupe-Roses La Bastide Minervois leapt to mind when this song started playing. Bright fruit and gentle berries in a well structured wine but with a slightly darker, almost tobacco note to finish.

7. “Midnight Blue”: I’ll be honest here, gin and tonic was what came to mind when I heard this one. Rock Rose and the tonic of your choice. Alternatively Suavia, Monte Carbonare Soave Classico would work as well. Crisp and fresh with a touch of acidity.

8. “Firefly”: Again it’s gin that comes to mind with this one. Get yourself a Pollination Gin from Dyfi Distillery. Quinta da Raza “Raza” Vinho Verde, crisp and refreshing with a fruity finish.

9. “Sirens”: Sancerre. To be more precise, Andre Dezat et Fils Sancerre. Beautiful minerality and citrus fruit gives this well balanced wine the credentials to go with this song.

10. “237am”: Chilled as all hell yet well put together, Chablis is my recommendation. Domaine Collet Chablis. An approachable, elegant and easy drinking wine. Perfect for relaxing and enjoying something a little finer. – Miles Bolland

Forgoing his previous project as Obey City, Positive Noise marks the full-length debut of the new Sam O.B.—a four-piece band featuring Sam as frontman, Photay on drums, and Elisa doing double duty as a fellow vocalist and keyboard player. The album’s an effervescent timewarp into 1980s nostalgia, but not cloyingly so; though there are clear bits of inspiration taken from Hall & Oates and The Human League, Positive Noise still feels rooted in modernity. Like one of the album’s best songs, Sam O.B.’s struck an unusual, and difficult, balance: he’s made an album that’s just as much pop as it is indie electronic, without pandering to fans of either in hopes of radio airtime. Positive Noise is an album full of heart. It’s a mature step forward for electronic music, and gives me hope that there’s still uncharted territory in this vastly oversaturated genre. – Staley Sharples

Stream Positive Noise on Spotify, and purchase it on LuckyMe.