Samantha Savage Smith - Tough Cookie
There's going to be no confusing Samantha Savage Smith with any of the countless carbon copy whiny emotive female singer-songwriters that abound these days. No, this young Calgarian has cobbled together her own unique style for her debut album Tough Cookie (out September 6th).
The vocals are really at the heart of these songs. Smith has incredible range. On "Devilman" her warble seems to come from a voice pushed to the emotional breaking point. Compare that to a song like the compelling "The Fight" on which her voice exudes so much power that she seems to be almost physically pushing you forward.
Most of the tracks have a blues or soul feel to them, probably no more so than the dark melodramatic (in a good way) "Nobody Loves Me Buy My Own Kind". However, when Smith branches out the results are tremendous. "The Hats" is a fun, lively duet. The sense of playfulness pops up again with the vibrant "The Score".
Not every song is as engaging as these. Lulls come with the title track, "Ladybird", and a handful of others. Redemption comes in the form of "Good of Goodbyes", which sounds like Dusty Springfield singing Etta James songs, and "1000 Days" that can be best described as Zooey Deschanel taking a stab at an Ella Fitzgerald number.
Anybody who can pull off something like that is definitely someone to be reckoned with.
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