On her second album, Nashville-via-NYC songwriter Samia delves into the raw emotional moments in life, delivering a stream of luscious and all too relatable snapshots of modern life. Catching fire through hooks reminiscent of Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Sour’ and Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Punisher’, the new album offers crystalline vocals and moving, orchestral moments as she tells her heartstring-pulling stories through eleven pop-inspired tracks.
Musically, much like her 2020 debut, ‘The Baby’, ‘Honey’ artfully weaves lo-fi, etchings with Samia’s versatile voice, cascading a poetic sound over flickering synths, acoustic guitar, and more. While the delicate moments arrive in droves, there are flashes of great expanse, where Samia loses herself within the music, and for a few lingering moments, the world can fade away to a single point in time.
Flitting between wry confessionals and moments of raw expression, Samia painfully constructs songs like ‘Kill Her Freak Out’, which is underpinned by a funereal organ sigh, ‘Breathing Song’, and the inquisitive ‘Mad at Me’. The delicate ‘Pink Balloon’ works to contrast a friend’s emotional turmoil with the 26-year-old’s increasingly desperate attempts to keep things light, while ‘Sea Lions’ blossoms from melancholy organ tones. Playful, painful, and loaded with hooks that work their way to the surface, it’s an album that will hit you in the sweetest, softest part every time.
One of the personal highlights on the album, ‘To Me It Was’, a co-write with Christian Lee Hutson, sees Samia trying to find silver linings in a night out gone astray. Packed with sardonic verses that are characteristic of Hutson’s writing, it’s a powerful piece matched by Samia’s repetitions of “To me, it was a good time.” Equal parts optimistic temperament and raw, emotive tones, the single is a rare gem that finds us all trying to hold on to those fleeting moments of connection.
On her second album, Samia dwells on broken relationships, toxic behavior, and addiction all too relatably, creating an honest, engaging, and undeniable journey that is pristine, painful, and impossible to deny. In moving away from the more autobiographical themes of her debut towards worldlier and hard-fought wisdom, ‘Honey’ creates something special, an album that is both entertaining, while also capable of helping us to navigate the world around us, and within us.
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