Friday 20 April 2012

First Dance Friday: Samantha Crain

I fully reserve the right to hijack First Dance Friday from time to time to tell you what I've been listening to. At the moment it's Samantha Crain, a singer/songwriter from Shawnee, Oklahoma (how cool does that sound! Really!) who I caught the last few songs of when she supported First Aid Kit in February.

I never normally buy CDs at gigs, so it's testament to her heart-stopping vocals and gorgeously intricate songs that I actually did. I'll be honest though, I gave the album about 10 spins in the next few weeks and then I put it away. Why?

Many reasons really. Most of all because I seem to be getting more impatient with music as I get older. If it doesn't have an instant chorus or make me dance about like an idiot then I tune out pretty quickly. Also because on record it's THAT kind of music that people who are five years younger than me listen to. People with beards who like the National. I'm not one of THOSE PEOPLE. People who like records with banjos on, but only found out who Earl Scruggs was after he died. IS THAT YOU? Then don't speak to me, ever.

I don't mean it, I'm only trying to be funny.

This song is so amazing, but on the record the dude singing on it reminds me of the guy out of Bright Eyes, and that just made me cross and I have no idea why. I have nothing against Bright Eyes per se. It's just that Bright Eyes is the tip of an Americana-loving bedwetting iceberg. Can you imagine how much of the bed an iceberg would wet? A LOT. Especially in a warm room.

Anyway, I put it away for about six weeks, only mildly annoyed that I'd broken my no-buying-CDs-at-gigs rule for something that hadn't changed my life.

Then I put it on again.

The hooks had subconsciously lodged in my stupid, thick head in that intervening period. And it's a bloody great album. It really is. I actually love it now.

Lesson learned. I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to collecting mandolins as penance for being so bloody judgmental.

What are you listening to at the moment?


  1. Am I allowed to love The National because I am nearly 5 years younger than you? I am going through a massive Steve Forbert kick at the moment, but somehow I think 'it isn't gonna be that way' isn't quite ideal for a first dance...

    1. You are three and a half years younger than me, that's not nearly five years, that's nearly four years. Stop making me feel old on my own blog. I didn't know who Steve Forbert was until just now - is it bad that I think he sounds like Billy Joel? I don't mind Billy Joel. I think Sam would really like this. Good work!


  2. Sorry... if it makes you feel less old I am nearly 6 years younger than my husband. Who actually also loves The National. One of the first presents he bought me was a copy of their album Alligator... and I used to listen to it a lot when I was nannying for a ten year old girl who said, after a few listens to
    I think we've established he's sorry! So am I allowed to like them? Or should I leave them to the pretentious 10 year olds? xx

    1. You're allowed to like them, providing you can grow a suitably large beard upon your face.


  3. There is a scientific reason that we tend to 'switch off' or are less patient to new music as we get older.
    It all has to do with neuroplasticity and the inability for the older brain to process dopamine in the same way as when we are younger. Which means that we are less impulsive, which also in turn means that the new pumping beats streaming out of your stereo doesn't effect you the same way it would have 10 years ago.

    And it's also the reason that we get the old 'fluttery' feeling when we hear a song from our youth that we loved.