The chisel-faced Sam Fender, who stares balefully out of his photographs, part belligerent, part come-hither, is the recipient of the Critics' Choice Award at the 2019 Brits — the English cousin to our Grammys. Besides the credibility this accolade bestows on the 22-year-old singer-songwriter, it also means Fender is treading the same ground as Adele, Sam Smith, James Bay and Florence + the Machine, among many lauded others. In the couple of years Fender has been making the live circuit rounds, he has released an album's worth of ear-catching singles, plus the Dead Boys EP. His song "Play God" found its way onto FIFA 19 and his suicide lament, "Dead Boys," is a prime example of Fender's social-commentary lyricism that is largely informed by his Northern England birthplace, not too far from where his music gets its Arctic Monkeys–meet–The Smiths flavor.
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Sam Fender plays at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 11, at the Moroccan Lounge.