Samantha Crain: Kid Face

samSamantha Crain
Kid Face
(Ramseur Records)

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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.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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