Songs In the Night
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With a voice that sounds as if it’s been scraped against the road, young twentysomething Samantha Crain of Shawnee, Oklahoma comes across as much more experienced than her years. Her debut album, 2009’s Songs In the Night, is chockfull of spirited jamborees played on tired nights, her acoustic guitar trailing behind the beat with a perfect laziness. “Rising Sun” begins with that simple acoustic guitar and her admitting “I will sing with the fog in my throat.” This “fog” rolls in as the band adds its color wheel of sparse electric guitars and supporting backing vocals. There’s an alt-country tilt to the title track and “Long Division” where guitarist Stephen Sebastian uncorks his arsenal of barroom riffs. “Bananafish Revolution” drops the groove a dark notch, encroaching on creepy Jolie Holland territory, while “Bullfight (Change Your Mind)” steps up the rodeo drive with spaghetti western licks, a whistling choir, and girl group backing vocals that play towards Crain’s mostly subdued pop side.
First full-length from riveting Oklahoma Americana folk singer
Samantha Crain is a Choctaw folk singer from rural Oklahoma whose vocal warble creates a sense of old-timey jazz. Her 2007 debut EP, The Confiscation, captured the feeling of an eerie walk along the canopied banks of a Southern Gothic river, and though this full-length isn’t as starkly foreboding, its imagery and lyrical meters remain striking and original. Crain’s gravitated from storytelling to poetic allusion, often leaving the tone and dynamics of her singing to communicate the pain, fear, confusion, despair and dislocation not transparently revealed in her words. The album is perhaps even more effective if you don’t resort to the lyric sheet. Crain continues to stretch her lyrics over the words’ rhythms, often repeating phrases in a trailing fog of lost thoughts or exclamation of suddenly realized memory. The Shivers’ Americana basics (guitar, bass, harmonica and drums) are augmented with touches of mandolin, trombone and mini-moog, remaining rustic and restrained; the slow-to-mid tempos are broken only once for the post-punk rockabilly shuffle and twang of “Bullfight (Change Your Mind).” Crain’s voice remains mystically compelling, and though her new songs haven’t the thick atmosphere of The Confiscation’s, they’re still full of memorable images and riveting twists. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]
Samantha Crain is comparable with God and The Beatles
I ran into these guys at FloydFest in Virginia, and was entranced. First album I've bought from iTunes, it rocks. Ms. Crain sings beautifully, with catchy melodies and heartfelt lyrics.
She captures the feeling of every moment, and the instrumentals back up her lyrics completely.
Top Albums and Songs by Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers
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