A raw, electric energy runs through the veins of New York songwriter Samia's music. You can hear it in the way her voice often clambers to a wail before immediately dipping into her lower register, and in the knife-sharp lyricism that slices through "21," the newest song in a recent string of one-offs. "I weigh a hundred and fucking something pounds," she groans over raging guitar, like she's spitting the words out of her mouth.
Samia recently turned 21, and the rocky transition — all of the roiling responsibility, excitement and overthinking — has been meticulously detailed like an angry splash of paint on white paper; on the song, her angst would almost be comical if the sentiment wasn't so relatable and ringingly true. "You're 21. You're 21," she sings repeatedly, an inwardly directed mantra of disbelief. I remember saying that to myself, too. In the end, everything turned out OK.
"I was worried during the year leading up to my 21st birthday because I'd always thought there was something I should have figured out by then," she writes of the song via email. "It was really liberating to turn 21 without having figured that out; I was happy knowing that I had a lot of love in my life and was doing my very best. I spent my birthday with my good friends, my family, and the one alcoholic beverage that does not give me hives. For the video we wanted to present the kind of moments that birthed the song — deliberating, walking back and forth and trying to write lyrics that are as good as the ones I like." Hit play above.