Samantha Crain’s latest album, You Had Me at Goodbye, is here.
Choctaw singer Samantha Crain has been quietly releasing some of the most compelling indie pop, rock, and folk-infused contemporary Indigenous music we’ve had the pleasure of encountering over the past several years.
Her previous two records, 2013’s Kid Face and 2015’s Under Branch & Thorn & Tree are both compelling lyrical works of a songwriter coming into her own.
Crain’s most recent release, You Had Me at Goodbye, builds on interconnected threads from those albums, but deepens the emotional force of her songwriting, swirling ever deeper into beautiful melodies that alternate between impassioned cries, heartbreak, and introspective reflection.
You Had Me at Goodbye cascades through electrified stomp and churn, bonafide glittering pop, and slide guitar-soaked country tinged softer hues, but one of the album’s standouts is a “Red Sky, Blue Mountain”—a hauntingly beautiful “new traditional song” that Crain wrote and performs in her people’s Choctaw language. As she notes, the song “speaks on the abuse and disrespect we have grown to inflict on the Earth and on each other”.
It’s a marker of Crain’s nuanced work within and outside of genre-based music that enables this stripped back, acoustic composition in an Indigenous language to occupy a place of emotional centrality on an otherwise independent rock record—one that helps bring into focus her continued exploration through the sounds and sources what we might dub the new sounds of Native Americana.