Record Of The Week: Samia’s ‘Scout’

The artist Samia released The Baby, her lauded debut album, just over a year ago. After moving to Nashville in January 2021, her label pitched her the idea of creating a new EP. Samia responded, “Sure, but what do you want me to say?”

After spending 3 years writing her debut and most of 2020 in intense self-reflection, Samia decided she was ready to turn her perspective outward, ready to express gratitude.

She finds much to be thankful for on her entrancing new EP, Scout. Unconditional love, friendship, family, night drives, dog-friendly coffee shops all appear in the vivid detail of Samia’s verses.

Producer Boone Wallace (Soccer Mommy, J.D. McPherson, Josh Rouse) helped Samia transform her initial poems into taut memorable arrangements.

During opener ‘As You Are,’ Samia name checks Nashville landmarks Portland Brew and Broadway as her lush vocal delivers one of her signature incisive choruses: “When somebody loves you, they take you as you are.”

On The Baby, Samia positioned herself as the entity receiving care. This time out, she’s administering it. Case in point: her pledge during the guitar-driven single “Show Up”: “Nothing can ever stop my ass from showing up to sing another song for the people I love.”

Samia’s melodies have a way of dancing around the steady rhythms of her songs, landing lines in surprising and affecting ways.

During “Elephant,” Samia finds herself in a room where her mere presence is making others uneasy. This worst-case scenario inspired a particular kind of anxiety. “If you call on me, I will pray for a fire drill,” she sings. The track also features a detailed description of how to place a smile on someone else’s face, a bizarre image and perfect illustration of the absurdity of holding oneself responsible for the happiness of others.

Her parents, actors Kathy Najimy and Dan Finnerty, are woven through the EP, her mother appearing on the nose of a plane in the lyrics of “As You Are” and captured via voicemail.

Samia’s dad inspired her cover of When In Rome’s 1980s classic “The Promise,” featuring fellow WNXP favorite Jelani Aryeh. Samia always knew she’d cover the song one day, likely as a piano ballad. However, she and Boone became enamored by the idea of doing a faithful version, and the result somehow seemed to fit perfectly alongside her three originals.

The title Scout evokes exploration, and after this triumphant EP, I’m ready to see what Samia discovers next.