Samantha Crain will release her fourth album, Under Branch & Thorn & Tree, released on July 17, via Full Time Hobby. The follow up to her wonderful album ‘Kid Face’, 28 year old Samantha is a super talented singer songwriter from Oklahoma. Part Native American her lyrical narrative regularly deals with American underdogs.
About the new songs Crain said, “I don’t write protest songs in the traditional sense, but I’m always listening to the voices of people around me. These stories are told from the perspective of the underdog, the 99% of us that are working people. They might not be literal protest songs, but the lives of the people within these songs speak at the same volume if you listen.”
She has kindly fielded our twenty questions….
Where are you and what’s the weather like?
Back in Oklahoma for a few days, so the normal summer weather here. sunny and hot. 90 degrees F.
What are your favourite films?
My all time favorite is the Chaplin film “City Lights”. Its so beautiful visually and I like that it was a risky film to put out (films with sound were the new thing so silent films seemed passe). Its just a very comforting film to watch. But my other two favorite movies are “American Movie” (a hilarious and sad and moving documentary about a blue collar, Midwestern indie filmmaker) and “Three Amigos”.
What are your favourite books?
The Stories of Breece d’J Pancake, A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O’Connor, and Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
What are your favourite TV programmes?
This changes all the time but currently “Peaky Blinders”, “House of Cards”, and “Broad City”.
What was the first record you bought and where did you buy it from?
The first record I bought with my own money was Daydream by Mariah Carey. I think I was like 9 years old. I bought it at the cd store inside the Shawnee Mall.
What’s the worst song lyric of all time?
I have no idea. probably something pretty recent though.
Vinyl, CD, Download or stream? Vinyl for sure.
Who do you consider to be the most overrated musical act of all time?
I absolutely never understood the popularity of rap metal (Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit). Its just obnoxious and loud white man rage.
What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?
That bootleg of Radiohead doing “Nobody Does it Better” by Carly Simon is pretty awesome. And the Knife’s “Heartbeats” done by Jose Gonzales is gorgeous.
Do you have any pets?
A cat, Frank. its a joint custody thing with my housemate, Kierston.
When was the last time you cried? a couple nights ago while listening to Joni Mitchell on a night bike ride home
What car do you drive? 2000 Ford E-150 van
Have you ever been starstruck?
Yes. many times. backstage at music festivals can be an overwhelming place for me. meeting Jeff Tweedy was probably my biggest nerd out moment though.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you like to be?
Doing metal art sculpture full time or maybe human rights law.
What’s your poison ? Oh man..booze.
Tell us a joke ?
How do astronomers organize a party? They planet.
I’m sorry…but you asked for it
How will you vote in the next election?
I’m not sure yet…maybe Bernie Sanders but we’ve got over a year to keep learning.
What decade would you most liked to have lived in?
The 50s seem pretty cool…rock n roll, cool fashion.
What is your culinary speciality ?
Any type of pie. I’m pretty good at crusts from scratch. yeah I’m good at making pies.
What is your least favourite record you have made and why?
Probably “You (Understood)” just because I know it could’ve been better….Some of my favorite songs I’ve written are on that album but because of my scattered mind and lack of confidence at the time, the record is just kinda un-focused. I don’t hate it or anything and I don’t regret it, it is, after all, a record that sounds like that time in my life (confused, un-clear), but I just wish I would’ve treated some of those songs better by giving them better company.