by Annie Bastian For anyone looking for new music, I highly recommend checking out Sammy Rae. Last year when I was getting prepared for a long car ride, I reached out to people asking for new music recommendations and a friend of mine told me about Sammy Rae’s EP, The Good Life. I remember that the first song that came on shuffle from the EP was “Kick It to Me.” I was automatically captivated due to the saxophone during the introduction and her unique voice. I vividly remember that when I stopped for gas after hearing it, the first thing I did was text my friend thanking her for telling me about this EP. I then sent the song to my father who used to play saxophone and therefore has a strong appreciation for any music that features one. While stopped, I also queued the rest of the EP on Spotify. I have been in love with Sammy Rae’s music ever since. I am strongly attached to the EP The Good Life, but Sammy Rae also has some other music that is well worth a listen. Unlike some groups where if you’ve heard one song you have heard them all, Sammy Rae keeps the listener interested by reflecting many genres such as jazz, pop, blues, and rock in her music. With a diverse array of genres in her music, every song has a distinctive sound.
Who is Sammy Rae?[caption id="" align="alignright" width="393"] Image from Sammy Rae & The Friends[/caption] Sammy Rae, or Samantha Bower, has plenty of music that precedes those on her current Spotify page, due to getting into music at a young age. She began her career by performing at local venues in her home state of Connecticut. Before the age of 18, she had already released 3 LP records that she self-composed. Since then, she has moved to New York to immerse herself in the music scene. She performs her music with a team of rotating musicians, “The Friends” that provide accompaniment in the form of various instruments and backup singing. After some time, she is now signed with Nettwerk Music Group. The Good Life EP and the following single “Saw It Coming” attracted multiple sold-out shows for Sammy Rae & The Friends. These releases got Sammy Rae on the map, or at least on Spotify, and since then she has released six other singles. With COVID-19 limiting some aspects of their engagement with the audience, singles are news that anyone following Sammy Rae looks forward to.
Dissecting the discographySammy Rae’s discography on Spotify may not be the fullest, as it only features her newest EP and a handful of singles, but it is amazing. When you take into account that it is mainly self-produced, it becomes quite an impressive collection of music. In 2018, her first single was released “Kick It to Me”. This is the song that I already mentioned but is still one of my favorite songs that Sammy Rae has released. The song starts out with a saxophone introduction to set the smooth vibe of the song. The lyrics in the first verse of the song introduces the theme of a relationship that has slowly improved to become one of love. Sammy Rae’s smooth tone from the first verse is then interrupted by a more staccato articulation in the hook that adds a nice bounce to the song as it builds moving forward. The lyrics, “You’re gonna bet all of me or none at all,” from the bridge really emphasizes the idea that they had to accept one another to build the comfortable love that they now have. Overall, the song projects a relaxed feeling that never fails to improve my mood. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9PNyzWtM7I&ab_channel=SammyRae Moving forward in her music, a month later Sammy Rae released the EP The Good Life. I personally am obsessed with every single song on this EP, but the first song on the EP “, The Feeling,” is a very interesting listen that I really enjoy playing due to its upbeat, jazzy tone contradicting introspective lyrics. “The Feeling” dives once again into the world of relationships. This song goes back and forth as to whether being in a relationship is worth it and how strong feelings can cause a relationship to get out of hand quickly. In lyrics such as, “When I wanna say my part and then you take it all to heart and then we get on a roll. I wanna get lost in the night,” she emphasizes the want to just feel and not be burdened by a relationship that will end in hurt. The flow and the voice inflections that are utilized in this song are quite uncommon to hear from artists these days, making the song stand out. Since the EP’s release, Sammy Rae has released seven singles. In April, her single “Whatever We Feel” was released. The beginning is her singing while playing the ukulele. With the song striving to have a very playful and lighthearted feel to it, this beginning sets the tone quite nicely. The lyrics that follow are focused on being unapologetically yourself and not worrying about others. This is shown in the chorus with the lyrics, “It’s whatever we feel, it's whatever we want to do. It's the thing I wanna do, it's the thing I wanna do, I'm doing it.” [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="351"] Image from Sammy Rae & The Friends[/caption] To get a full scope of the diversity that Sammy Rae’s music brings to the table it is also worth mentioning that her single was released at the end of August, “Living Room Floor”. This song is a piano ballad that takes the reader through moments in life that are set on a living room floor. The choice of making this song a ballad gives the song a reflective tone, almost like reminiscing on the moments that are being shared. The simplicity of the music allows for the story that is being told to really shine through. Near the end of the song, there is also a moment of acknowledgment of the past and the change to moving forward with the lyrics, “I tell him ‘babe I made this, with my own hands, ain't it something?’ Sitting cross-legged, because we haven’t got a table yet. Saving up, gonna get a few chairs, gonna get a whole set. I’ve got my bed and my closet and a living room floor.”
Looking forward to the futureWith Sammy Rae & The Friends beginning to draw in a larger audience, more people will find her and enjoy her music as much as I do. She has still been releasing music throughout this year, so hopefully, after the pandemic, she can expand even more. I look forward to hearing more from her in the future and I hope that she is able to perform at the dates she has scheduled for April and May of 2021.
Sources: Music Connections, Sammy Rae & The Friends Images: Sammy Rae & The Friends, YouTube Featured Image: Soundcloud