Musical Mastermind Saman Shani Drops New Single

“Another Coffee” hails from one of three song cycles composed by Juno-nominated and prize winning composer, conductor, and pianist Saman Shani. The Toronto based artist’s single is a key moment in the Orbit song cycle slotted along two others on Shahi’s debut album Breathing in the Shadows. It’s an audacious opening salvo from any budding recording career and every component of “Another Coffee” and its construction reflects the confidence he brings to bear. Shani’s ambitions are well served by the presence of first class collaborators, as well, each up to the task of interpreting his material. This is an important piece of a larger whole. It is also a superb performance alone and never sounds disconnected or obscure.


The last point is no small thing. It is natural, given Shahi’s extensive grounding in classical music, to wonder or expect that the track might prove to be heavy sledding for some listeners. Shahi doesn’t compromise his vision for popular music success, but most listeners if not all will be reassured early that his talents are up to the task of engendering mass appeal. Vocalist Fabian Arciniegas certainly doesn’t come across as a popular music vocalist, though his performance is emotionally open and certain to connect with most, if not all, listeners.

He takes us on quite a ride and his control is absolute. It’s stunning to hear his voice soar and dive with total confidence and no one can claim he doesn’t get inside the song as well as under the listener’s skin. Arciniegas’ skills as an interpreter are beyond any doubt. His technical abilities are responsible for much of that, but it’s also his understanding of Jelena Ciric’s lyrics and deep emotional reserves that play a role.

Tara Scott’s piano work is another vital role player and arguably the heart of the song. She is attentive to each compositional nuance of Shahi’s composition and claims the pianist’s ideas as her own. There is no ego driving the performance, as well. Scott understands when to charge forward, when to pull back, and the importance of allowing the song to breathe rather than attempting to impose her presence on every available second.


The song’s running time of a little under three and a half minutes is ideal. There’s no added dross overburdening the song and the concision of both the arrangement and performance focuses the song’s effect. Anything longer would have diluted its potential. It is an undoubtedly carefully crafted and even orchestrated track but perhaps its most remarkable aspect is how inspired and spontaneous it sounds despite that.

You can’t help but Shahi’s confidence. This is a self-assured writer who entered the recording process knowing what they wanted and equally impressive is the astute choices he made for who should deliver on the song’s promise. Taken on its own or as part of a larger work, “Another Coffee” makes immediate inroads into a listener’s subconscious and lingers long after the song’s final note. You can scarcely say better than that for any release.  

Anne Hollister

Anne Hollister

We do music reviews for Independent Artists and Publicists.

Follow us @ indiesourcemag