Samia, Getting Used to Fandom (9/30 at JB’s)

“It’s all totally autobiographical, down to transcripts of conversations,” says Samia about her music.  She goes on to add, “People hear my songs and ask me if those stories...

“It’s all totally autobiographical, down to transcripts of conversations,” says Samia about her music.  She goes on to add, “People hear my songs and ask me if those stories are real and I’m like, ‘Yeah!’”  This summer the 24-year-old singer/songwriter released Scout, a four-song EP (on Grand Jury) and follow-up to her 2020 full-length debut, The Baby.  In a recent phone chat she tells me that, due to the pandemic, Scout was far less produced than The Baby, but that the circumstances made for a really great experience with the musical friends with whom she made it: “We didn’t have a lot of resources, because of COVID.  We really threw it together the best we could…  But we have all said that it really is the perfect representation of what we were all going through.”

As promised, the songs of Scout meticulously document the charming mundanities of Samia’s daily life (Opener “As You Are” contains a full verse about her mother waiting for her at the airport in sweatpants.) in a manner reminiscent of Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville (a recurring theme amongst many of today’s best singer/songwriters that I’m not complaining about).  Billboard says of the collection, “During a pandemic-stricken era, Samia has given us an ode to intimacy that pulls in her whole group of family and friends, and feels authentic in its shoegaze-pop approach.”  During our chat, Samia tells me that she’s been completely taken aback by how many people seem to identify with the songs, which she tells me come from a really emotionally tumultuous time in her life: “I think I was nervous about the earnesty and, it was really fulfilling that anyone could relate to it with that earnesty.”

Samia recently wrapped up a bunch of dates opening for electropop duo Sylvan Esso, which she tells me were not only an honor, but served as a bit of an education: “It was just such a learning experience for me.  Just watching Amelia as a performer was great for me…  It was bootcamp in the best way.”  And she’s currently on a nearly-sold-out headlining tour, which includes a sold-out stop this Thursday, 9/30, at our very own Johnny Brenda’s.  For the tour, she brought along good friend and Americana singer/songwriter Savannah Conley, who she tells me she admires as much as she likes: “I was so shocked that she wanted to open for me.  She’s like my hero.  It’s been like a field trip.”  And, of the shows themselves, she tells me that she still can’t quite comprehend how amazing they’ve gone: “I’ve just been shocked that there’s more than one or two people in each city and that people show up and know the words…  I’m so excited.  Every night feels like my birthday and Disneyland and Christmas in one [laughs].”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.