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.