Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
It takes an eternity, sometimes, to get what's going on, to fully comprehend directions and all those things that the hearts wants and needs to convince the mind of. It's never a simple matter of deduction, reduction or addition. It's a complicated situation that often runs itself into a tizzy, getting to the end of our allotted time and leaving us holding the pin or the string like a dumb ass, pockets out and a touch of a morose frown. Most of the time the deciphering goes something like this: dark, dark, stumbling, dead end, dark and then bright, blinding lights being flicked on and even then it takes a good long time to catch your bearings and get situated with what's actually being seen or experienced. The view sharpens and collects its spots, its freckles and trim to make that fully formed picture of enlightened perspective. That's if you're lucky. Most people are made out of black cats and ladders, all those superstitious kinks in the armor. While not anywhere near being entirely what her music attempts to engage itself with, Samantha Crain seems to appreciate the finer things, those which need time or a thumping slap to the face to iron out. Finer doesn't mean the bigger things or the refined things in life, just finer - as simple as that. It means breathing and it means looking. It means quiet when that's desired and celebratory energy when that's hungered for. It's dancing and sleeping. It's meaningful, soul-enriching labor and work and complementary play that adds up into a gratifying life of substance. It's growing your own vegetables and fruit, washing them under a running stream of cold water in the sink and eating them raw, nearly straight from the vine or stem, maybe with just a little bit of dirt or wind still stuck to them. It's finding the waking hours to be better used to become better people, to feel as if there are endearing qualities to simplicity and really stopping to appreciate all that's out there instead of buying into the unwinnable rat racing games that everyone wants to play. It's getting further and further away from these glowing white screens - or knowing their places - and being influenced more by what the weather's up to outside that what a damned e-mail or cell phone voicemail says. Crain isn't overwhelmed in song by overload, per se, but she's not all that plussed on it either. She's a native of a small town in Oklahoma and outside of that place are people who think differently, who treat other people differently than she's used to, who possibly don't eat home-cooked meals more than once or twice in a given week. Her songs are the dissertations of the frightening lengths that most people go to in order to chase a happy ending that is elusive, for little do they know that the chase is leading them in the opposite direction. On "Get The Fever Out," she sounds to be an advisor, a wiser sort, making an entreaty to a friend or the mirror to make the bed and take a pay cut because this could lead to the day turning out better. All of this could lead to a new life of a little more charm and beauty than of harrowing tasks and strangled passion. She notes in her description that the song is something different, but everything tends to take on multiple moods and the fever could be different every day you think about it, just as the person in "You Never Know" or the person we all are is a different arrangement with every passing day. There's always something that needs to be purged, to be rid of so badly, leaving one to just go about, to not get the jitters or the shakes. Shave off the excess and do what you want. Crain makes it sound so easy, as if these songs were better than advice, as if they were already fast-fasting, working as you listen to scare the trivialities away, placing us all gently into our own specific comfort zone where nothing can hurt us.
Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers Official Site