Sam Evian is the alias of Sam Owens, a recording engineer and producer also known as singer/guitarist of Brooklyn indie rock group Celestial Shore. Following two albums in the early 2010s with Celestial Shore, he made his Sam Evian debut in 2016 with Premium. Shaded with '60s and '70s influences, the project's mellow indie rock demonstrates Owens' appreciation for vintage instruments and sounds.
A New York-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Owens is also a studio multitasker, who helped to build Brooklyn's Figure 8 Recording Studios in the early 2010s, staying on as a house engineer. He counts the Band, Shuggie Otis, Cate Le Bon, and Cass McCombs (whom he's produced) among his many varied influences. Owens formed the indie rock group Celestial Shore with bassist Greg Albert and drummer Max Almario in the late aughts, and they released a series of EPs and singles beginning in early 2011. Their debut long-player, 10x, arrived in 2013, and was followed by 2014's Enter Ghost, both on the Hometapes label. They were noted for their blend of '60s pop and off-kilter improvisation. In the meantime, Owens appeared as a guest on other bands' albums, including playing guitar and keyboards for Palehound and Here We Go Magic, and began working steadily at Figure 8.
Using the name Sam Evian to avoid confusion with other artists, his debut solo album, Premium, featured assistance from area musicians such as Dan Iead (pedal steel), Brian Betancourt (bass), and Austin Vaughn (drums). Other guests of note included saxophonist Eddie Barbash (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert house band), singer Hannah Cohen, and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily (owner of Figure 8). Premium was released via Saddle Creek Records in 2016. The follow-up, 2018's You Forever, was recorded with Betancourt, Vaughn, Cohen, and guitarist Adam Brisbin in a rented house on an eight-track reel-to-reel recorder, and stayed loyal to the project's amber-tinted sound. ~ Marcy Donelson