Playlist: Inspiration behind Samia’s tiny and towering moments

On her second album, Honey, which is due at the end of January, Samia inquires into powerful sensations — wild, woozy nights, keyed-up check-ins, near-fanatical devotion — and how they were experienced by others involved. She threads evocative imagery through all 11 songs. What varies wildly is how towering or tiny she makes each musical moment feel.

During the softest tracks, she works in an indie rock or folk singer-songwriter vein, but even then, her melodies have a swelling, musical theater quality, like a character performing an inner dialogue on stage. Elsewhere, Samia builds out and polishes her songs into sparkling synth-pop.

That contrast makes a listener wonder where the Nashville-based artist and product of an entertainment industry family (her parents are actor Kathy Najimy and actor and comedic musician Dan Finnerty) found her sonic inspiration while shaping Honey. She’s satisfied our curiosity with a playlist made up, as she put it, of “songs I was listening to the most while writing.” Her picks span the artful intimacy of Clairo, Gregory Alan Isakov and Sibylle Baier, the fractured melodrama of Father John Misty, Lana Del Rey and Caroline Polachek and grand off-Broadway gestures.

“I used to think there was more intellectual value in some genres than others, which is really false, I think, now,” she reflected during a late-December interview. “I mean, I just want to make music that makes people feel the release that I felt when I wrote it. I don’t really care how it gets categorized as long as it’s resonating with people. I’ve definitely done the full-out indie rock thing, and I love that and I love those bands that inspired me to do that. But I also love Sondheim. I think my taste really bounces around. You can hear it in my work for sure.”