Music: Songs in the Night

This debut album from Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers is perfect on a Sunday morning.


While the luminous melodies and rootsy twang of Samantha Crain’s debut album provide the ideal backdrop for a lazy weekend brunch, that’s only part of the story. In these emotional tales of people trying to make sense and order out of their messy lives, the 22-year-old Oklahoman sounds like Björk’s heartland cousin as her voice quavers with barely contained emotion. Prodded by woozy trombone, she sighs, “It’s a perfect day for dying,” in the mournful “Bananafish Revolution” (a nod to the J.D. Salinger story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”). On the ragtag “Devils in Boston,” a desperate farm girl ignores her mother’s warnings and flees to the city. Melodrama abounds, but the passion of Crain’s characters is never less than stirring.

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  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.