September 6, 2008

Sate my craving: A live session with Samantha Crain

Lately I am completely enamored with the music of Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers and their Confiscation EP (out now on Ramseur Records).

I’d written about it a few weeks ago but since then have continued to reach for the CD over and over again, immersing myself into her introspective storytelling and her gorgeously husky and unvarnished voice. When I first wrote about Crain, I quoted a reviewer who said she evokes “Judy Garland singing Neutral Milk Hotel songs,” and the more I listen, the more I think that may be the most perfect comparison a music writer has ever scrobbled together.

The Chicago music blog Hear Ya recently featured Crain & Co. on an acoustic session of five songs, including several not on the Confiscation EP. Here are two songs from the session; you can get the rest here.

Traipsing Through The Aisles (live) – Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers

Rising Sun (live) – Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers

I only wish for a live version of my favorite song off the album, the devastatingly gorgeous “In Smithereens, The Search For Affinity.” That cut alone is worth buying the EP for — the shimmery haze of melody that’s reminiscent of some of my favorite Mazzy Star, and breathtakingly stark and resonant lyrics like these simple ones:

I won’t say I’m needy
but I won’t say I’m fine

… Can’t we just be two troubled souls in need?
And nothing more to speak of?

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  • Thanks for checking out the session, Heather. Samantha could sing the phone book and it would sound amazing. Luckily she can write great songs as well.

    Hopefully she starts getting the appreciation she deserves.

    Oz — September 7, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

  • Well can count one new set of appreciative ears here.

    I am not an easy sell for female voices and am surprised by how much I like her. The songs you posted and linked us to have done their job, I’m curious now and will have to go get the EP.

    AH — September 7, 2008 @ 8:21 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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