That someone so young should be able to write such spellbinding music just doesn’t seem fair. But from the first notes of Songs in the Night, the full-length debut from Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers, it’s readily apparent that Crain is blossoming into a prodigious power in the indie folk movement. Possessed with a quavering, throaty voice and songwriting tinged with stark poetry, Crain’s abilities belie the relative youth of her twenty-two years.
Crain captains her Midnight Shivers through waters that, at first listen, appear dark and murky. Upon further inspection, though, there is subtle current of hopefulness rolling through the tunes on Songs in the Night. This spirit is perhaps best captured in the rollicking "Get the Fever Out," where the appeal for selflessness is a refreshing slap in the face to the me-first nature of modern America, and "Bananafish Revolution," where Crain makes dying – on the perfect day, no less – a notion worth longing for.
"Devils in Boston" and "Bullfight (Change Your Mind)" prove that these folkies can rock out, but the band truly shines on tunes like "Rising Sun" and "Long Division," where Stephen Sebastian’s twanging electric guitar creates a depth and texture that so ably fills the spaces Crain’s soaring vocals and delicate acoustic guitar.
Songs in the Night has fixed the ears of the Americana world squarely on young Samantha Crain. All evidence points towards Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers rising to meet this well deserved attention.
Songs in the Night is out now on Ramseur Records.