Sad House Guest Performs at 200 Main Art and Wine Gallery

Samuel Stein and Sam Lakmann represented Sad House Guest on Friday night, with Lakmann on the keyboard and Stein on vocals.

Anna Smith

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Samuel Stein and Sam Lakmann performed on Friday from 7-9 p.m at the 200 Main Art & Wine Gallery and talked about the upcoming EP release.

Members of Sad House Guest performed on Friday from 7-9 p.m. at the 200 Main Art Gallery in Downtown Eau Claire. According to the Sad House Guest Facebook, “The band is composed of Tor Kjartansson, Samuel Stein and friends most of the time.”

Samuel Stein, a fourth-year music composition and math student originally began as an independent artist, but soon expanded to include his brother and his “best friend from back home.”

“We’ve been playing for about seven years just as ‘Samuel Stein,’ but during the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided we should get a band name because we’ve redefined our sound,” Stein said.

Stein described their sound as “angsty,” but with the elements of indie and folk genres incorporated. 

Sam Lakmann, a fourth-year music composition student alongside Stein, also said their role in the band.

“It’s becoming more of a defined band rather than just a single artist and whoever else was performing with him,” Lakmann said.

Sad House Guest also said they’re dropping an EP in early April, which would be revealed to fans at their next show at the Mousetrap on April 8. Stein said they hope that this performance can act as a “release party” for Sad House Guest fans.

“It’s five songs and all four of us are on it and there’s a full band as well,” Stein said. “I’m hoping this can be our defining EP because it’s music that says ‘this is who we are’ and ‘this is what we want to show to everybody.’”

Lakmann said this EP would be their first contribution to the album as well. Both artists said there would be differences in this EP compared to the one released this past August, as that was just an independent album.

“Sam wasn’t on the August EP, my brother wasn’t on it and it was more of a COVID-19 thing,” Stein said.

Lakmann got into details on their preferred genre of sound and their music styles as well. They said how they could blend in with the feel of Sad House Guest.

“It was more of a live feel and more of the sound that we were looking for on this EP,” Lakmann said.

Lakmann said “the band has been able to pinpoint their sound through piano, drums and vocals and how Lakmann’s contributions have added to the bands’ musical profile.”

“The funny thing is I’m invested in jazz studies at UW-Eau Claire,” Lakmann said. “(Stein) is not, but that creates more of a creative outlet for me.” 

Lakmann uses their jazz studies to accompany the band, “whether it be playing bass or a bit of percussion.” they said on Friday.

Lakmann also identifies these jazz elements as “staples” of the band, and how they’ve refined them into this coming EP.

“I’m very glad to have contributed to these songs on this EP and they’re not totally new songs, but they’re quintessential,”  Lakmann said.

Looking to future projects, Sad House Guest will be performing at the Mousetrap on April 8, to expose their audience to their anticipated spring album. For Sad House Guest updates, follow @sadhouseguest on Instagram.

Smith can be reached at [email protected].