20 Sep 2020

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Samantha Josephine - Album Review: Feeling In The Strange

20 Aug 2020 // A review by Isla Norman
Hailing from Ladysmith, South Africa, Samantha Josephine is the mastermind behind the Feeling In The Strange album. Her sound is crisp and enchanting, and her lyrics feel as though they were written in another universe.

The moment Morning Light Comes started I was reminded of the whimsical and mysterious Soko. Josephine talks her way through her inner monologue as a detuned guitar vamps in the background. It’s a simple arrangement, but it’s refreshing in contrast to the highly produced modern musical world.

Full Of All The Moods feels as though it belongs on the soundtrack for Juno. It’s almost a piece of spoken word walking on the shoulders of a song. There’s something captivating about this performance — the rhythmic rambling lulls the listener into zoning out. Josephine seems to have a profound point to make, but there are a few details missing. The mystery is intriguing, though. It made me want to listen again to try and figure out if there was an underlying metaphor or plot that I’d missed.

For So Long refreshes the ear with a more rhythmic strumming pattern. A second guitar riffs an ostinato over the top, giving the piece the feeling of a busy mind. The opening line “nobody ever talked to my mother like that” starts the piece off with so many questions that remain unanswered.

The album concludes with the detuned title track Feeling In The Strange. A quiet Josephine on the verge of tears muses on the feeling that "they keep us in the stars". It appears to be a piece about feeling left in the dark, and perhaps that’s why the vocals are almost too quiet to hear. It’s an effective decision, though. The listener is forced to tune in and pick out the words that they can, almost as though we are eavesdropping on a conversation she’s having with herself.

On songwriting Samantha Josephine says that she’s given up trying to control the process, and feels much more free creatively for it. She find the songs simply 'happen', and she can do her best to interpret the meaning later but is "probably inaccurate". You can hear this sense of freedom and play in her writing — she’s an unbridled creative allowing her subconscious to do the legwork. This explains the unanswered questions and element of mystery running through the album as a whole.

Samantha Josephine is an intriguing and other-worldy musician. If you like Jesca Hoop, Soko, Amanda Palmer or The Mouldy Peaches I’d strongly recommend a full listen through to Feeling In The Strange. It’s a stripped back collection of songs, but there’s some kind of magic to it that I can’t quite put my finger on.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Samantha Josephine

Compared to Lou reed and Courtney Barnett, Samantha Josephine's unique sound has been assembling a group of fans from around the world to watch her perform from her living room. She has been called a style beast, with a voice, that historically speaking not a lot of females have.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Samantha Josephine


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