Samantha Crain is an American songwriter, musician, and singer from Shawnee, Oklahoma, signed with Ramseur Records and Full Time Hobby Records
Since successfully unleashing her debut album on the world aged just 19, Oklahoma-born Samantha Crain has always been known for her timeless tones and astute lyricism. Now, on fifth album You Had Me At Goodbye, Samantha packs even more of a punch with an uplifting modern pop surprise.
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.”
Where many songwriters will drown their sorrows at the bar, Samantha’s music provides instant relief. A playful and lively balance of sweet balladry and taught experimental art-punk spirit, You Had Me at Goodbye talks from the head and heart whilst punching from the gut. Ever the storyteller (her first EP was created from tales she had concocted in her journal), Samantha wrote ‘Betty’s Eulogy’ from the perspective of the wife of legendary Cherokee-Indian cowboy and vaudeville performer, Will Rogers whilst ‘Smile When You Call’ is an ode to the imagined lover in Jimmy Webb’s ‘Wichita Lineman’. “Usually I have a theme in mind when I start writing for an album but for this record, I just started writing. Turning 30, aging in general, has helped tremendously in freeing myself in the creative process,” she says.
Samantha’s true strength, lies in her self-awareness and retaining a sense of responsibility towards the listener. From adjusting her writing techniques, purposely blurring the lines for interpretation to prevail, to the squelchy jazz tropes of ‘Smile When’, ‘Wise One’ or the freewheeling ‘Antiseptic Greeting’ about the phenomenon of "resting bitch face," each song is astute but full of fun. “I just wanted to have some goddamn fun and make an album that was searching and whole, confident and paralyzed, happy and sad,” she reveals.