Samantha Crain: Kid Face
Oklahoma songstress Samantha Crain has a voice that is at once plaintive and bold. Her third release, Kid Face, is a confident fusion of grassroots folk and mainstream hooks. Though this album was recorded in little more than a week, the lyrics contain tales of many journeys, and these lessons seem to come from a perspective far beyond Crain’s years.
Crain’s writing cuts through human nature to examine the connections between people and their movements. As such, “Never Going Back” is a perfect opener, a punchy, stomping statement of independence with a gorgeous fiddle accompaniment. This gives way to “Taught to Lie,” which delves into how bold it can be for someone to actually be honest.
As a singer, she is just as willing to examine her own actions as those around her. For instance, in “Churchill” she sings, “So blame me for what I cannot finish/My whole life I thought I was an opportunist/But I’m not.” These lyrics capture the sense of a young person realizing she is not immortal and subject to limits. Similarly, “Somewhere All the Time” is a personal reminder to remember to rest sometimes in this chaotic world.
From folk anthems to piano ballads, Kid Face captures the sound of a woman finding herself on the road and in her roots. There are shades of performers like Tegan and Sara and Neil Young here, but make no mistake: Samantha Crain is to be heard as her own voice.