Oklahoma’s small towns have provided the backdrop for many unique and soulful sounds. Shawnee native Samantha Crain has been singing the small town feeling for over a decade. Her take on folk and Americana is built on vivid storytelling of seemingly personal experiences. Listeners may feel like they are seeing individual moments of the singer’s life, but also a bigger picture about dilemma, love, and personal growth.
Crain’s new album, You Had Me At Goodbye, brings about some new direction for the singer’s sound, while maintaining the familiarity many fans look for in her voice. At the midpoint of the album, “Smile When” features a muddy synth style bassline, some DJ scratching, and an electronic lead you would not normally hear from a folk artist. The lead single “Oh Dear Louis” features layers of Crain’s voice over a straightforward indie pop rock sound. The album takes several turns throughout the ten tracks, and presents fans with a mix of excitement of the unexpected and comfort of the familiar.
Oklahoma is a big part of Crain’s sound, and her sound is a big part of Oklahoma. Several of her songs were featured in the Sterlin Harjo film Barking Water. Crain is known to be outspoken on issues that relate to the state’s Native American communities. You can hear the openness of Western Oklahoma in her songwriting, and the warm tone of an Oklahoma dusk is captured in the recording, which is 100% analog.
You Had Me At Goodbye comes out on March 24th on the London based record label, Full Time Hobby. It was produced by John Vanderslice, who has worked with the likes of Spoon, The Mountain Goats, and Bombadil. An upcoming tour will accompany the release, which includes two album release shows in the state. Crain will play on March 24th in Norman at the Opolis, and March 25th in Tulsa at The Shrine. Both shows include the local band Husbands as an opener. After those shows, the singer/songwriter will do a quick European tour before finishing with a series of stops on the East Coast.