Samantha Crain – Songs in the Night

If there is one new artist I want to see succeed, it’s this girl.

I don’t know where, I don’t know how … in whatever manner, I somehow came across her 5-song EP The Confiscation. 5 songs. 5 original, unique, completely different songs–each a gem unto themselves.

A quick search of Amazon revealed that she has one CD–Songs in the Night-. I wanted to order it, but I thought it best to check with my CFO (read: wife) before initiating such a purchase.

That was in August of last year.

Flash forward to this past Monday. I now have a new job that requires less CFO input. Such being the case and finding myself in one of those “Mondays are for the weak” type of days at work, I decided to get away to Gray Whale. Their indie bin is unrivaled in the state.

In short, I walked out with 9 CDs (amongst them was the free Alela Diane CD), one of which was Samantha’s Songs in the Night.

What I’m about to tell you is just my opinion, and there may be some dissenters. Know this, dissenters: you are only cheating yourselves.

She and her band are as unique as it gets. A blend of acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, bass, wurlitzer, mandolin, mini moog, a couple of tracks even use a trombone … all mixed with an incredible sound that is mixed to perfection. Bits of folk, blues, country, and rockabilly,

The lyrics are both inspiring and haunting. Songs like “Long Division” leave you wondering where your sense of self comes from. “If not from above, if not from below, if not from within, then not even so.” I could be wrong, but I believe “Bananafish Revolution” is a nod to JD Salinger’s story, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” It wouldn’t surprise me if it were. Read the story, listen to the song … strong correlations.

My favorite part of the CD is Samantha’s vocals. There is not a more unique voice in all of music-dom, with the exception of maybe Azam Ali. Channeling a little Edie Brickell mixed with some Etta James, Samantha adds a heart-rendering quality to her vocals that is all her own. Soulful and sorrowful, powerful and soothing, she has a dialect that is distinct and beautiful. Her voice is simply captivating. It’s not that words fail to describe it–it’s that you really need to hear it to appreciate it. Her inflection is different than anything you’ve ever heard.

Here’s the beautiful thing: get this CD and you’re coming in on the ground level, to use a MLM term (not that I like MLMs, but stick with me on this). By that, I mean you’re going to be among the first to hear her and get to know her music. You’ll then tell all your friends about her (at least the friends you truly care about), who will spread it to their friends. Soon, the whole will know her music, and YOU get to say that you helped spread the love. Everyone should have the chance to hear her. Help get the word out!

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