First Aid Kit, Samantha Crain | The Vic | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Samantha Crain

Samantha Crain

When: Sat., Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Price: sold out
On last year’s Kid Face (Ramseur), Samantha Crain demonstrates her skill at providing a broader context for ideas and themes drawn from a life on the road. The narrator in “Taught to Lie” says she’s become almost pathologically irresponsible because her rootlessness has allowed her to escape accountability—she admits, sounding almost proud, “I’ve learned to tell the truth sometimes.” Crain has explained that her song “Paint” is about how long solo tours make her feel like a ghost: “I’m trying not to disappear / Into the shadows,” she sings. The music’s strummy, Neil Young-flavored country-rock melodies and loping grooves support her remarkable voice without upstaging it. With her strong, precise singing, full of daring swoops and unexpectedly liquid phrasing, she sometimes sounds like a jazz vocalist—and a good jazz vocalist, one who doesn’t stoop to self-indulgent grandstanding. In “For the Miner,” she makes the absence of the sun feel like a life-altering deprivation simply by stretching out the last word in the line “Is it overcast and gray?” Crain hasn’t played Chicago in a couple years; tonight she’ll play material from Kid Face and preview new songs she plans to record for release next year. —Peter Margasak
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