Today rising indie artist Covey unveils the next two singles from his highly-anticipated new album Class Of Cardinal Sin. The two songs, “Sam Jam” and “Crooked Spine,” are thematically tied, both sharing stories about his sister.
Based on a true story, “Sam Jam” finds Covey, aka Tom Freeman, seeking internal revenge on the man who once poured scalding hot coffee right on his sister’s head. He brings the grim story to life in a new video out today directed by House Of Nod (Diet Cig, Japanese Breakfast).
Much like the album’s debut single “Cut On The Crease,” the video for “Sam Jam” features some of the characters that Covey has been introducing via his fast-growing TikTok channel. A clip of the song is also featured in his “Story of Sam Jam” intro, and currently has over 4.9M views + over 2,700 fan videos made using that same sound.
The other new song streaming today is called “Crooked Spine,” and finds Freeman reflecting once again about his younger sister who has battled with scoliosis throughout her life.
Much like a lot of us, Tom Freeman—the Brooklyn-based British artist and musician known as Covey—had a weird 2020. He did a Tour To Nobody, playing shows in rural locations across the American northeast for, well, nobody. He recorded the audio and video, turning the audio into a record, and using the video to launch a series of TikTok videos.
The latter started to find its audience, but it wasn’t until Freeman started posting videos about his upcoming album Class Of Cardinal Sin that fans truly began to respond. Suddenly, the videos were lighting up––this intro video alone has over 19.5 million views! Only a few weeks later, Covey had amassed over 1 million followers on the platform, each tuning in to learn about (and swap theories concerning) the increasingly intricate semi-fictional universe Freeman is building through the record.
The cover of Class Of Cardinal Sin features a diorama depicting what, at first glance, appears to be a simple class graduation photo, complete with a blackboard with white lettering at the front. Upon inspection though, the classmates are in disrepair. Some are missing limbs; others are casting satanist spells, and most have a human body beneath the head of a creature. Still, they’re dressed and arranged like students, grotesque and miserable.
The home, the class photo, the songs: these are all part of a network of synapses that comprise Class Of Cardinal Sin, refracted through Freeman’s acerbic, wrenchingly sharp storytelling. This storytelling is backed by major-key melodies realized on acoustic and electric guitars, bass and warbling keys, percussion that shifts from gentle to titanic.
Class Of Cardinal Sin is that rare, comforting object that smashes the depressing-but-delightful button in the brain that trauma-rock seems always to be pawing at. Manned entirely by Freeman, Covey courses through brash, bright indie rock, riotous folk-punk, giddy pop-punk, and serene Midwestern emo. It’s a gnarled, endearing, acute patchwork, recalling the best bits of Neutral Milk Hotel, The Mountain Goats, Death Cab For Cutie, AJJ, Elliott Smith, and Blink-182.