November 08, 2023
There's plenty of curious timing in Samia's Tiny Desk debut. For starters, this was the final Tiny Desk concert produced by Bob Boilen — he came in for one last Monday to accommodate the performance — which meant the singer-songwriter had to endure the reluctant tributes paid to Bob as she waited patiently to perform. Then there's the timing of Samia's song selection: All five of these tracks appeared on her terrific debut album (2020's The Baby) and not this year's equally magnificent Honey. Which is saying nothing of the fact that Samia is actress Kathy Najimy's daughter, yet we opted to run this performance a full week after the conclusion of Hocus Pocus Season! What were we thinking?
Fortunately, Samia's set nevertheless provides a stunning showcase for her charisma, vocal talent and deftly detailed lyricism. She possesses a remarkable knack for specificity in her songwriting, which finds her name-dropping her favorite bands, recounting conversations in devastating detail and even shining a light on songwriting itself. ("I only write songs about things that I'm scared of," she sings in "Is There Something in the Movies?" before adding, "So here, now you're deathless in art.")
Taking advantage of the Tiny Desk's quietude, Samia and her band chose to focus on the more subdued side of their sound, even deploying the sample of her grandmother that opens "Pool." As a result, it's easier and more rewarding than ever to hang on her every word.
"Is There Something in the Movies?"
Sam Calvo Rosenstone: keyboards
Boone Wallace: guitar
Ned Steves: bass
Noah Rauchwerk (Wormy): drums
Alycia Lang: background vocals
TINY DESK TEAM
Producer: Bob Boilen
Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Kara Frame, Maia Stern
Series Producer: Bobby Carter
Audio Assistant: Hannah Gluvna
Production Assistant: Ashley Pointer
Photographer: Michael Zamora
Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Hazel Cills
VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
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