Our Song of the Day arrives courtesy of Oklahoma-born Samantha Crain who, would you believe it, is about to release her fifth album with You Had Me At Goodbye via Full Time Hobby on 24th March. It comes as no surprise that the press release for You Had Me At Goodbye makes use of terms such as packing a punch. She does, just read her interview with Folk Radio UK from 2015…astuteness lies therein.
Anyhow, check out the freewheelin’ Antiseptic Greeting above, a taste of what’s to come.
Written over 4 months at the back end of winter whilst at home in Norman, Oklahoma, You Had Me At Goodbye was penned whilst Samantha was working shifts at a pizza place to save up money for touring, recording, paying bills, and as a self-confessed ‘film nerd,’ binge watching movies. “Oklahoma is beautiful, but my relationship with it is complicated. There are mountains, plains, prairies, rolling hills, high deserts and plateaus, with an amazing creative community of people making beautiful visual art, interesting films and loud music. But it’s extremely Christian, conservative, and whilst people say it’s ‘friendly,’ really, people are only friendly if you’re white and aren’t dressed unconventionally. I feel welcome and alienated all at once.”
On the album, she also features a new traditional song, ‘Red Sky, Blue Mountain,’ which Samantha wrote in her native Choctaw language. Gliding along like clouds floating above the land, she turned to her long-time friend Dora Wickson to assist with its translation and pronunciation, capturing both the sound of the Choctaw people and through Samantha’s seductive vocal delivery, the signature of an artist proud of her roots.
“The song is very important to me. I wanted to communicate the importance of caring for the earth,” Samantha reveals. “We used to be so connected to it and so intuitive to its changes, but now we are so disregarding and out of touch with it. I wanted to keep the song simple enough for others to learn it and approachable enough to encourage other indigenous people to learn and interact with their culture to create new culture.”
The album was produced by John Vanderslice (Spoon, the Mountain Goats, Strand of Oaks), mixed and engineered by Jacob Winik (The Magnetic Fields, Hot Buttered Rum), Samantha returned to the Bay Area in California to, once again, record the album in analog at Tiny Telephone Studio (this time, at the newly opened Tiny Telephone Oakland annex studio). But her music finds equal influence through those kindred spirits who have shared her struggle to be heard – whether it’s good friend Dora, Patti Smith, Cyndi Lauper or many, many others as Samantha explains;
“This album is dedicated to and inspired by the independent, strong, focused women who somehow continue to explode through the dark clouds of the weirdly oppressive art/music world. Every woman with a vision who didn’t veer from it amongst dissension. Every woman who was vulgar and loud and smart and ugly, in addition to the other aspects of their person – everything in opposition of what was expected of them.”
You Had Me At Goodbye is released 24th March 2017 on CD, ltd pink vinyl and digital download.
Personally, I’d pre-order that pink vinyl. Get yours here: fulltimehobbystore.com/buy/you-had-me-at-goodbye-4/
Samantha Crain will be touring the UK & Europe in March & April – more dates announced soon:
28/03/17 : Broadcast – Glasgow
30/03/17 : Night & Day – Manchester
02/04/17 : The Louisiana – Bristol
03/04/17 : The Hope – Brighton
04/04/17 : The Lexington – London