Samia (Photo courtesy Grand Jury Music)
There’s a line on Honey, the latest album from Nashville-via-NYC songwriter Samia, about Aspen Grove, a collection of 40,000 trees in the plains of North America, all connected by a single expansive root system. There’s no stronger metaphor for the audience the 25-year-old empathy engine has been generating since she began releasing music seven years ago. Her songs, her fans, her friends: one enormous, interconnected ecosystem.
Honey, comprised of 11 new moments of catharsis, is by and for that organism. Set for release on Jan. 27 via Grand Jury Music, the album was recorded at North Carolina studio Betty’s –- owned and operated by Sylvan Esso’s Nick Sandborn and Amelia Meath, frequent touring partners of Samia’s. It was produced by Caleb Wright, part of the team that helmed Samia’s breakthrough 2020 debut The Baby, and a founding member of one of Samia’s favorite bands, The Happy Children. It features some of her nearest and dearest friends: Christian Lee Hutson, Briston Maroney, Jake Luppen, Raffaella. Its songs were surreptitiously road tested for her devotees while opening for Lucy Dacus, Courtney Barnett, and more.
The end result is what Samia, born Samia Najimy Finnerty, calls simply “a real community record.”
“We tried to be as honest as possible and keep the songs as raw as possible,” Samia said. “We talked a lot about zooming out and zooming in, giving a lot of weight to the small moments and considering them as part of a big picture, how they factor into everything else that’s happening in the world.”
Watch the official music video for “Sea Lions” by Samia on YouTube:
While her previous work played with turning the personal into the universal, she’s breaking confident new ground here. The Baby was loose and bubbling, like wearing your mom’s big shoes while playing dress up. The knees on 2021 EP Scout were not so wobbly, and Samia began singing of gained perspective and softened edges. Honey is tight and heavy — the moment you notice you’re older now and those shoes don’t slip as much.
When writing this album, Samia wondered, “How do I take responsibility for the things that I’ve done? That’s at least the stage of my life that I’m at. I need to hold the mirror up to my behavior and my role in every relationship. And that’s so much harder than just thinking that you’re the main character and dancing through life.”
Samia calls her music “pathologically confessional,” and though she doesn’t mind being the latest addition to the “sad girl” indie rock canon, Honey finds her less concerned with being a “sad girl” than fascinated by the things that keep us together. Memories. Friendship. Small things and big things like Aspen Grove. On this stylish and vulnerable new record, Samia holds the mirror up to herself and allows us to see ourselves in the reflection.
W/ Tommy Lefroy
Tuesday, Feb. 7
Doors @ 7pm