Then I Held My Breath
Sam Shinazzi is a singer/songwriter from Sydney, Australia. A prolific writer and multi-instrumentalist, he has released three critically acclaimed recordings across regions of the world. In 2001 he recorded the solo acoustic mini-album "Long Drive Home", 2003 saw the more layered "Less Than Perfect Day", and in 2005 Sam dropped his moniker of "The C-Minus Project" and under his own name gave us the band orientated "Stories You Wouldn't Believe". He has also had success co-writing, including working with Jenny Queen on her album "Girls Who Cry Need Cake" which has enjoyed considerable success and critical acclaim in the UK and Europe, as well as Australia. He has co-written songs for her second album, due out in 2008. Sam's current band consists of Tessa Benjamin, Adam 'T-Bone' Taylor, Bruno Brayovic (Peabody) and Anthony The (Skull Squadron/Velvet Studios). Previous members include Adam 'Wes' Gregorace (Devoted Few), Tom Hartney, Robert Cranny (Sarah Blasko band), Ben Chamie (Peabody), Beau Cassidy (ex-Starky), and Graeme Trewin (ex-Peabody). Guests musicians include Jason Walker, Skye Knight (Devoted Few) and Little Sky (ex-Gerling and Spdfgh). A versatile live performer, Sam is at ease playing with full band, with a guitarist or solo. As well as countless shows of his own, highlights of his live career include playing alongside BONNIE PRINCE BILLY, LOU BARLOW, BUFFALO TOM, MOUNTAIN GOATS, EVAN DANDO, THE PERNICE BROTHERS, JOSE GONZALEZ, JOSH ROUSE, CROOKED FINGERS, RICHMOND FONTAINE, HAYDEN, ART OF FIGHTING, MACHINE TRANSLATIONS, DARREN HANLON, HOLLY THROSBY, JOSH PYKE and AUGIE MARCH. In 2005 Sam released his critically acclaimed album "Stories You Wouldn't Believe" and toured the USA, playing in NYC, California and DC. In 2007 CBS television show 'The Unit' featured his song 'Until Sunrise' (from the album "Stories You Wouldn't Believe" as a key music piece in an episode shown worldwide). "Then I Held My Breath" was mixed by ARIA award winning engineer Wayne Connolly (The Vines, Josh Pyke, Youth Group ... amongst many others). \'His (Shinazzi's) lyrics are nothing short of brilliant. This is simply fantastic. I'm begging you. I don't throw the word "brilliant" around often\' - WORDPRESS "Shinazzi\'s song cycle is proof that if you delve beneath the surface of the top 40 carousel and trend-of-the week music press, there is real treasure to be found\' - FASTER LOUDER \'The lyrics are very personal, and the longing in Shinazzi's voice is something everyone has felt and can understand\' - MEDIA SEARCH \'Shinazzi has a knack for breezy melodies\' - TIME OFF \'He's been under the radar certainly more than his gifts deserve. Shinazzi puts together songs of the sort of simplicity that takes a lot of work. Often they are little confessional conversations. From soft raw reminisces to romantic daydreams which we've all had about that girl on the bus, but have been too embarrassed to tell anyone else. But then he adds the small details to take it that one step further: musing on why some other guys could make something of that spare seat next to her, before just walking away with a Springsteen tune blasting through his ears\' - DRUM MEDIA \'Songs range from acoustic pop gems to melodies that try to implant themselves into your brain ... an intensely personal journey from hard times back to hope\' - SYDNEY UNLEASHED \'The songs carry fine melodies, strong poignant lyrics and are superbly produced\' - 8/10 AMERICANA UK \'It\'s refreshing to listen to something that has an honest-to-goodness simplicity about it. Grab a copy of this old-fashioned, intensely personal and curiously satisfying album. Then maybe you\'ll believe the stories about him\' - COMES WITH A SMILE \'Shinazzi demonstrates his knack for quirky lyrical images backed by a solid pop tune. This is what is commonly known as a 'hook', and Shinazzi has plenty of them. Make's the daily grind that much more tolerable\' - SCREAMINGBLOODYMESS.COM \'Honest, heart-felt songs that everyone can relate to. Each song contains a genuine, down to earth feel that feeling that makes Shinazzi\'s music simply lovely\' - SOAP BOX NOTES \'Intensely personal and disarmingly honest lyrical content, Sam has a staggeringly frank and honest lyrical approach ...like a starker, indie Springsteen ...\' - 8/10 WHISPERIN' AND HOLLERIN' "I\'m asking myself where the hell I\'ve been all this time? This is a real stunner of a record full of splendid sounds and moving stories\' - RADIO TORINO POPOLARE 97FM (Italy) \'Shinazzi\'s personal narratives are beautiful and as gripping as his live shows\' - ROLLING STONE \'...His remarkable instinct for musical intimacy. Maybe it\'s a kind of superpower, knowing just how far to go to make you want to cry without making you indignant about it. Often poignantly simple songs that can cut right to the bone" - THE BRAG \'With the likes of James Blunt attracting a lot of interest maybe, just maybe, a singer songwriter of the calibre of Sam Shinazzi might get the attention he so rightly deserves. If James Blunt can top the U.K. charts then, if there is any justice in this world, Shinazzi should be the next number one by a singer songwriter. What a voice, and what melodies the man composes. What makes Shinazzi better than those who are enjoying more success than him at the moment is that Shinazzi's songs find their way into your heart from the very first time you hear them. He's writing and singing about places we've all been to, about the relationships we've all had, about the bars we've all been in. He's not just writing about his life, but yours and mine too. Shinazzi is an exceptional songwriter and performer, I've had no reason to mention a host of other artists who he sounds like or might have taken inspiration from for the simple reason Shinazzi really does stand alone; in an overcrowded genre he really does shine out. Four months before those 'best of the year' lists hit us and I'd be very surprised if Sam Shinazzi doesn't figure in many of them\' - PENNYBLACKMUSIC.COM "The soulful sounds of Sam Shinazzi will gently lull you into his world of relationships and the full spectrum of emotion that follows. He sings honestly about feelings and life experiences we\'ve all had (and might still be having) and understand. Rich, acoustic melodies carrying poignant lyrics and life stories with an intensely warm (and at times melancholic) mood. It\'s a lovely little soundtrack for the lives of those of us that can\'t seem to get ahead in this cold, harsh world of love and war\' - RIP IT UP \'Shinazzi has the knack of capturing just what goes on in your own head. A chorus that is guaranteed to lodge in your mind for weeks\' - JB HI-FI MAGAZINE \'Something like Ben Lee without the pretensions. It\'s a rarer sound, like that friend who speaks to you without censoring their emotions\' - DRUM MEDIA \'No matter who you are, you can find something to relate to. The feeling behind every one of Shinazzi\'s songs make this album even more brilliant with each listen. It's beauty is in it's simplicity. To simply palm this release off as acoustic mellow pop would be unfair, and a little ignorant to say the least as Sam Shinazzi is so much more than pop - he wears his heart on his sleeve for all to see and hear. Expect big things from this man\' - XPRESS \'Shinazzi is a shy innocent who adopts the understated, confessional writings that made the Lemonheads Evan Dando and Tom Morgan such a songwriting force. He makes his melodies sparkle\' - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD \'Beautiful snippets of music that exhibits what so much music at the moment lacks - an uninhibited honesty and openness that stirs up every emotion imaginable and leaves you feeling purged and fresh and free\' - THE BRAG \'Songs of intense introspection. This record is pure lacerating heart-ache, as painful as the frozen webs of tears on your face walking home after she or he left you high and dry. Shinazzi\'s lovelorn lyricism and evocations of distance and landscape. Shinazzi in his lugubrious whisper of a voice; it\'s a whisper made of treacle with cask wine, chased down by bargain-basement pharmaceuticals. It is an utterly compelling meditation delivered with a lyric so spare and childishly opaque it freezes your insides. Shinazzi writes beautifully and disarmingly plainly about loss and loneliness, and at times even hints at the exhilaration of regaining one\'s equilibrium. A strong statement as a debut with songs that demand intense and close listening\' - OZ MUSIC PROJECT \'extremely honest and intimate songs backed by rich melodies and instrumentation, that at times perfectly captures human frailty and deep emotions. Shinazzi is a fantastic storyteller who isn\'t afraid to share his own experiences and emotions openly. It\'s hard putting yourself out there in such an open way, so credit is due to him for doing it in such a seemingly effortless and natural manner\' - MONO (now MESSANDNOISE.COM) "Staking his claim as a quality songwriter in the introspective pop vein . Sentimentality plays a large part of the song writing, and it\'s Shinazzi\'s greatest draw card. It beams of sunshine amidst all the brooding sentimentality\' - OZ MUSIC PROJECT Live Reviews \'An unassuming and experienced performer, Shinazzi has an ear for a vivid lyrical detail and can write songs you look forward to getting to know\' - FASTER LOUDER "Like photographs of all the suburbs you left behind and the people and shadows that haunted them, Shinazzi\'s songwriting has the ability to moor you through the traces of memory" - OZ MUSIC PROJECT \'Songs about boys and girls, friends and family, work and play and the darkness that lurks in the suburbs that many of us hipster diffuses came from, but might try to deny at one time or another. It\'s like stealing a kiss from that special boy or girl you\'ve had your eye on for some time\' - THE BRAG \'Sam Shinazzi waved his musical wand over the audience. The most striking thing to be left with after the set was the song writing talent of lead singer Shinazzi. You know a band has hit the right spot when you wander off home at the end of the gig with their song lyrics still kicking around inside your head\' - OZ MUSIC PROJECT \'Gracious. Unassuming. Grateful. His languid, lonely tunes are offset by his gruff Australian vocals that are filled with yearning, anxiety, raw honesty and regret. It's as if Sam has literally dug it out of our memories and then revisited it with a renewed vigour. Sam Shinazzi is an undiscovered gem and genuine storyteller These are lonely cowboy songs. Road trip songs. Songs to both break your heart and warm it. Get out and see Sam Shinazzi this year" - THE BRAG.