Fresh off the release of her wonderful LP A Small Death last year (ND story here), Samantha Crain has given us a handful of affecting new songs on her new EP, I Guess We Live Here Now. While the former featured darker reflections of a life interrupted by a debilitating illness, the subsequent EP is a bit lighter — yet no less beautiful — set upon which Crain seems to have leaned into the beauty of intention.
Consider the enthralling “Bloomsday,” the opening track and one of the most striking compositions ever penned by Crain. Interposed with the centrally repeated idea of “Everybody’s wondering where their little light is” comes the familiar gospel refrain of “This light little of mine / I’m gonna let it shine.” It’s a resolute decision to focus on what’s positive, on what can happen versus what isn’t happening. The stunning vocal work certainly helps.
This theme continues on “There Is No Mail Today,” a song that spends most of its short existence wallowing in the protagonist’s failures and fears (“I don’t know the devil, but I know my own dismay”). Yet by the track’s end, Crain has realized, “Maybe not to gamble is the greater wrong.” Again, a life marked by intention, by leaning in, is offered as the more beautiful way to live.
I Guess We Live Here Now wraps with a couple reflective tracks, one that waves goodbye to a relationship that’s obviously over (“Malachi Goodbye”) and another that mines the beauty of youthful freedom (“Two Sitting Ducks”). Both feel at home as important steps in a life fully lived — one that acknowledges endings and learns from the past. Together with her previous LP, Crain’s latest musical statements are both mesmerizing and mature.