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Album Review: Samantha Crain - A Small Death


"From the depths of physical and mental paralysis, Crain has resurfaced with a breathtaking, miraculous masterpiece."


Words: Lizzie Baker


Samantha Crain relives the unimaginable pain of losing the ability to use her hands after a car crash, which left her unable to play her beloved instrument, the guitar, on her beautifully-haunting comeback album, 'A Small Death'.

The folk singer - who is signed to Lucy Rose's recently formed indie label, Real Kind Records - has been working in a grocery store in her native Oklahoma to fill the void of being unable to tour amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She also had her album pushed back to this week from May, due to the virus.

However, Crain waited for the life in her hands to return to make this record, so a slight delay to her album is a minor setback in comparison.

The record begins with 'An Echo', the first new music from Crain since her 2017 LP, 'You Had Me At Goodbye'.

Built on grief and trauma, the lyrically-intense opener sees Crain's powerful voice shatter in places. The heartbreaking vocal is juxtaposed with a joyous steel pedal guitar, no doubt reflecting the musician's sheer elation to be playing the instrument once more.

On 'Garden Dove', with its grungy Nirvana-esque guitar and sax that sounds like Gary Numan-style synths - Crain's folky vocal transitions into a 90s alt-pop style (think Garbage's Shirley Manson).

Closer 'Little Bits' follows suit, after getting so much off her chest, Crain ends on a bittersweet note with a sweet short burst of jingly guitars and more honest reflection.

From the depths of physical and mental paralysis, Crain has resurfaced with a breathtaking, miraculous masterpiece.


Rating: 9/10

For Fans Of: Phoebe Bridgers, Garbage

Release date: 17.07.20