Samia’s new EP Scout is landing in record stores this Friday – grab a copy here. To celebrate, she’s unveiled a new self-directed music video for her Jelani Aryeh collaborative cover “The Promise.” The clip is literally all sunshine and good vibes, a day in the life of the pair on their first meeting in Los Angeles. The video fits the energy of the cover perfectly.
“I’ve always loved ‘The Promise’ – I love how dramatic it is. Was gonna do a theatrical piano cover but took it to my friend Boone and we thought it would be fun to try and replicate the original as accurately as possible.” She goes on to say, “It shares a common sentiment with the rest of the EP, and it was a perfect opportunity to beg my new favorite artist, Jelani Aryeh, to sing with me. We met up in Malibu for the first time and spent the day filming each other jumping around and driving PCH listening to Wolf Alice! It was perfect.”
In other Samia news, while her tour dates are selling out left and right, there’s a free streaming performance for one and all on August 19th from New York’s Brooklyn Steel. Watch it here. Tickets for the tour available here.
Samia returns today with Scout, the 4-song follow-up to last year’s breakthrough debut The Baby. Earlier this week she previewed “As You Are,” the most nakedly sentimental song in her quickly growing repertoire, and the moment from the EP that best represents the earnestness that runs through its four songs.
“I’m used to being around lots of people all the time so a year of quarantine forced me to consider which moments were truly meaningful and with whom,” Samia said of ‘As You Are.’ “The chorus is a mantra and a response to the struggle to believe I’m worthy of love in a vacuum, that love can be pre-reflexive and worth our blind faith in it.” The video, fittingly, features Samia in a vacuum – alone in front of screens projecting imagery from the lyrics. Like the video for the EP’s lead single “Show Up,” it was directed by Joey Brodnax.
Described as a sibling to her debut, Scoutrises anew a little older, stronger, and wiser than before. If Samia was searching for answers on The Baby, here Samia is learning to trust in decisions she’s already made. In a glowing review this morning on NPR All Songs Considered’s New Music Friday podcast, Robin Hilton & Cyrena Touros note that The Baby’s album closer “Is There Something In The Movies” featured the line “I only write songs about things that I’m scared of” – a sentiment that sits in stark contrast to the celebration of love in all of its forms that animates Scout. “Show Up,” released earlier this summer, is a shimmering ode to friendship and loyalty. Elsewhere, Samia contemplates the weight of being responsible for the happiness of others atop hazy looping percussion on “Elephant.” And she closes the EP with a pledge: “If you wait around a while I’ll make you fall for me / I promise,” on the Jelani Aryeh-assisted cover of When In Rome’s “The Promise.”
And those who haven’t fallen in love yet will get plenty of chances later this year, when Samia finally embarks on her first tour since releasing her debut. She’ll support Sylvan Esso on the west coast, before making a trek back across the midwest and east coast on her own headline run, which is almost entirely sold out. Tickets that are left are available here.You’l be able to get physical copies of Scout at any of those dates, or if you’d rather get your hands on a copy sooner, they’ll hit stores August 13th. Pre-order now.
This morning we’ve announced a brand new EP, Scout, scheduled for digital release on July 23rd & available for your record or CD players on August 13th. Alongside the announcement comes the glimmering lead single and video “Show Up,” directed by Joey Brodnax. The Samia faithful will recognize it as a song she’s been teasing every Tuesday for the past few weeks.
Described as a sibling to her debut, the Scout EP comes just ahead of a gargantuan run of fall tour dates, with Sylvan Esso out West in September and her own headlining dates already selling out for October (no, really, New York sold out in 24 hours). Full list, including sell-outs below – tickets available over in the tour section.
So it’s kind of fitting that the lead single is a sentimental, shoegaze-tinged torch song with lyrics that declare an undying loyalty to the people she cares about most. It’s a song, quite literally, about showing up. Her rounded, warm voice fills the space created by the production, her presence a friend in the midst of hardship. The video depicts her alone on a stage, pouring her heart out as visuals of her friends and adventures project behind her. It’s an ode to those closest to us, a reminder of the intimacy that was prevented in the previous year, and just really fucking beautiful to look at.
Speaking of beautiful to look at, the physical version of Scout features photos from Sophia Matinazad and layout by David Kramer. It’s available in a handful of limited edition variants, pictured and explained below.
Limited edition of 300 Baby Pink 12″s available exclusively at Rough Trade
Standard edition 12″ available on Amazon and other fine retailers.
Scout rises anew a little older, stronger, and wiser than before. There’s the low-lit balladry of “As You Are,” a song about acceptance, the woozy atmosphere of “Elephant,” a song about expectations. Comforting and confident, the EP even closes with a pledge from Samia and featured guest Jelani Aryeh: “If you wait around a while I’ll make you fall for me / I promise.” Jelani joins Samia in a heartfelt cover of “The Promise” originally by When In Rome, and re-popularized a few years back by Sturgill Simpson. This version is a faithful adaptation, replete with bouncing 80s synths
“It feels like a part two — it’s The Baby’s slightly older sister letting her know that everything is gonna be alright,” says Samia.
9/6 – Troutdale, OR – Edgefield *
9/7 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Amphitheater *
9/9 – Berkeley, CA – The Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley *
9/10 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre *
9/11 – San Diego, CA – SOMA *
9/13 – Salt Lake City, UT – Union Event Center *
9/14 – Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom *
9/16 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom *
9/17 – Austin, TX – The Moody Amphitheater *
9/18 – Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom *
9/19 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center *
9/21 – Atlanta, GA – Roxy Theatre *
9/22 – Asheville, NC – Rabbit Rabbit *
9/24 – Chicago, IL – Schubas # SOLD OUT
9/25 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line #
9/26 – Kansas City, MO – Recordbar #
9/28 – Indianapolis, IN – Hifi #
9/30 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s #
10/1 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall # SOLD OUT
10/2 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom # SOLD OUT
10/4 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe #
10/5 – Washington DC – Songbyrd # SOLD OUT
10/7 – Columbus, OH – The Basement #
10/8 – Nashville, TN – The Basement # SOLD OUT
* w/Sylvan Esso
# w/Savannah Conley
We’re having a hard time processing this too. We announced The Baby a little over a year ago. Since then there have probably been a few thousand tweets about how excited someone is to eventually be able to see Samia live. Well, the day has come. This morning, Samia announced a full Fall 2021 tour, with a west coast run supporting indie dance mainstays Sylvan Esso, and a run across the midwest and east coast with Savannah Conley supporting. All dates on the flyer below, and over in the tour section. On sale this Friday at 10AM.
The Baby Reimagined is a song-for-song reinvention of the debut album from Samia. It features old friends and new connections forged over mutual admiration. While some remix albums struggle to justify their existence, this one is a testament to the songwriting at the core of Samia’s work. In any hands, these songs are special. And in the carefully selected hands at work across this release, these songs are transcendent.
The Baby was a long time coming. And despite the album’s lyrical preoccupation with being alone, it took a village of Samia’s friends to raise it. So it’s little wonder that, in its wake, Samia has enlisted a new group of friends and contemporaries for The Baby Reimagined, out January 15th. Featuring covers, reinventions and remixes, the release is a top to bottom reimagining of her debut, filled with renditions from Bartees Strange, MICHELLE, Field Medic, The Districts, and many more.
Briston Maroney’s take on “Is There Something in the Movies?” serves as the lead single, and is available today wherever you stream music. It comes on the heels of the Anjimileversion of “Waverly,” a wintry folk makeover that accompanied the recent music video a few weeks back. Briston’s cover lends his Americana sensibilities to The Baby closer, its earnest heartbreak conveyed through an emotive tenor. The reverb of his guitar echoes in the background, blessing the cinematic tune with a fresh, Western twang.
“This song is the most representative of Samia’s ability to tell a very specific story in a relatable way,” says Briston. “I really enjoyed the opportunity to retell this story in an attempt to show my appreciation as a listener for Samia’s willingness to share her experiences with us all.”
Lots to appreciate here. Full tracklist below. Pre-save The Baby Reimagined now.
01 Is There Something in the Movies? – Briston Maroney Version
02 Minnesota – MICHELLE Remix
03 Winnebago – Charlie Hickey Version
04 Waverly – Anjimile Version
05 Does Not Heal – Christian Lee Hutson Version
06 Triptych – Field Medic Version
07 Stellate – The Districts Remix
08 Limbo Bitch – Donnal Missal Remix
09 Big Wheel – Palehound Remix
10 Fit N Full – Remo Drive Version
11 Pool – Bartees Strange Version
Today Samia shares a music video for Baby-standout “Waverly.” Directed by frequent visual collaborator Matt Hixon, the clip eschews the urban vignettes of the song’s lyrics for a woozy backwoods trip that may or may not end in the den of a low-grade cult. In what has slowly become Samia’s signature visual style, the video is a surrealist, dream-like trek through the absurd. Watch it above.
The release of the video arrives alongside a re-imagining of “Waverly” courtesy of indie folk artist Anjimile (Giver Taker is one of our favorite records of the year!), who spins the song’s buoyant, piano-led energy into a hushed ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Sufjan Stevens album. The rendition serves as the first in a series of collaborations, reworks and re-imaginings set for release over the coming months. We’ll have more details there soon. In the meantime, listen to the cover below or wherever you stream music.
Today Samia shares a new full band version of “Is There Something in the Movies?,” the album closing number from her debut, The Baby. Available wherever you stream music, this new take is much more faithful to the sonics of the live version, which anyone who has seen Samia over the past two years will recognize. Alongside the single comes a live studio music video, filmed, directed and edited by Matthew Hixoncaptured at Red Convertible Recording in Brooklyn, NY.
“We’ve been playing this version of ‘movies’ live for a couple years but opted to put a more stripped down version that’s centered around the vocals on the record.” Samia shares, adding, “Making this video was the first time we got to hang as a band since quarantine started, so it was a special moment for all of us! I love to rock with my band.”
Today marks the release of Samia’s debut album, The Baby. She celebrated its impending release earlier this week with the final teaser from the record, “Tiptych.” This is a song that Samia herself calls “a pretty blatant cry for help and an opportunity to confess my fear of being misunderstood.” So it’s no wonder that the video for The Baby-standout is about a relationship with a ventriloquist dummy. Communication seems nearly impossible in the codependent relationship at the core of the video, directed by Samia’s longtime friend Fred Hechinger. The Samia of “Triptych” embraces and teases her helpless partner at whim. Her conflicting emotions match the dichotomy of the song, a peaceful, indie rock track belied by taunting, aggressive sentiments. Somehow even though we’ve yet to release her debut, it’s accurate to say this is classic Samia.
“I wrote ‘Triptych’ sobbing in a green room in Denver,” she shares. “I’d just read the story of Francis Bacon and his lover/muse, George Dyer, whose chaotic lifestyle served as Bacon’s artistic inspiration. George Dyer overdosed in the bathroom of a hotel room paid for by Bacon, who famously painted a triptych of his lover’s final moments. I had just been through a pretty tough breakup and felt I might be purposefully getting myself into dicey situations to justify my big feelings and write about them.”
It’s a fitting song to celebrate the release of, The Baby, available here. The album is a big, soaring, ambitious collection of bouncey indie folk, artful pop and bouyant rock. Contemporary ideals about romantice (“Is There Something in the Movies?”) or supposed parallels between fitness and happiness (“Fit N Full”), tying each to her own personal experiences. The insightful wordplay showcases the voice of an emerging lyricist with their pulse on the modern condition.
While these songs explore Samia’s fear of being alone, they were lovingly brought to life with the help of her community. Many of her tourmates eventually became collaborators as she prioritized working with old friends and kindred spirits. Early demos of The Baby were workshopped with members of the band Active Bird Community, and the album was produced by Jake Luppen, Nathan Stocker & Caleb Hinz, the former two best known as members of indie-pop rebels Hippo Campus. Along with studio whiz Lars Stalfors (Foster the People, Soccer Mommy), Samia assembled a seemingly disparate crew, stretching from Los Angeles to Minnesota to New York, connected only by her trust and vision.
Today you can hear two new songs from Samia’s forthcoming debut, The Baby. The double single pairs the wistful yet buoyant “Big Wheel” against the stark, lowlit heartbeat of “Stellate.” While it showcases two distinct sounds from the album, the songs are bridged together by the twin themes of internal and external conflict.
“’Big Wheel’ is about avoiding conflict at any cost,” Samia shares.“I wrote it after a few hours of laying in bed imagining hypothetical conversations with people that I was too scared to have in real life. It’s a passive confession of harbored resentments buried in a laundry list of gratitude.“
On “Stellate”, she further struggles with confrontation and how such fears lead to a power imbalance between herself and her partner. “‘Stellate’ and ‘Big Wheel’ are both love letters to people/parts of my life I had trouble confronting conversationally,” she shares. “‘Stellate’ is a note to myself trying to make sense of old traumas and ‘Big Wheel’ is a plea to the people around me, but releasing them together feels like closing a chapter.”
The accompanying video for “Big Wheel,” directed by her drummer Noah Rauchwerk, presents another imbalance, this time between the IRL & URL world, as 3D avatars of Samia begin to spill out into an unsuspecting reality. It wasn’t until the video was underway that Rauchwerk stumbled over a second layer of meaning specific to the moment: “The combination of the nostalgic and joyous home videos with the unsettling 3D models says something to me about how Covid has forced us into our phones and the digital world even more,” says the director. “There’s this huge collective feeling from the loss of human interaction and most of the things that previously brought us so much joy and purpose. Watching shows online and listening to records is great, but nothing compares to sweating at a show with all your friends and screaming the words, or playing on tour with the people you love. Those experiences bring an overwhelming feeling of presence and life that we have all been missing.”