Sam Millar

Virtual Summer: CD


Release Date: 27 September, 2024

Picture a time when you could have a good time all the time. It was an era when fast cars rolled under neon lights, yachts were a sensible housing decision and fighting for your right to party was a full time occupation. This mythical age had an equally flamboyant soundtrack to match, and it blared from boomboxes and dashboards in every time zone. It was the 1980s, and bands like Van Halen, Toto and Def Leppard personified a summertime sound built on big beats, bigger melodies and choruses so epic that singing along was the law, and places like Vegas, Hollywood, and Miami Beach became hedonistic epicenters of a global, sonic heatwave.
Cruelly overlooked among these hard-partying capitals is the little town of Wigan, just outside of Manchester – average annual rainfall: lots. It was there that multi-talented musician Sam Millar was born, and where that 80s vibe has found new life in the form of his debut solo record. It’s called Virtual Summer, and it’s 14 slabs of the slickest sounds this side of a hot pink Mustang with the top down and the stereo way, way up. 

“Wigan’s just a little town, it’s not the nicest place – I know you don’t expect this sort of thing to come out of here, but that’s why it did,” says Millar. “Half the time it’s raining and miserable, so Virtual Summer is like tapping into summer whenever you need to, just put it on and it’s always there for you.”

Raised on a parental diet of Slade, Springsteen and Sabbath, it wasn’t long before Millar soon discovered his own hard rocking obsessions, and if there’s a familiar ring to any of Virtual Summer’s dopamine cannon blasts then it’s because it’s the culmination of the guitar-slinging maverick’s lifelong adoration for the finely honed melodic perfection of the giants of AOR, and Toto in particular. 

“I guess you could call it cheesy, but there’s something about being able to sing a song after you’ve heard one chorus, the feeling it gives you – it’s just so positive,” he says. 

CD Album