“Can I tell you something? I’ve never felt so unworthy of love,” Samia sings mournfully, presenting to us her second album “Honey”, a wise and withering record about that painful part of growing up when you have to figure out how to stay alive with all the fears you haven’t grown out of.
The New York songwriter can be compared to Olivia Rodrigo or Phoebe Bridgers for her outspoken, piercingly vulnerable indie pop music, but in “Honey” her warmth and sincerity are unique. The artist, born Samia Najima Finnerty, has reflected enough on the past and is now trying to look forward, accepting mistakes and heartache, to remind her community that she is trying her best.
This manifests itself in the blurred lines of low-fi synthpop, which give way to flashes of rhythmic piano and intimate country folk, each of Finnerty’s 11 powerful melodies peels off a new layer of lessons learned and promises full of love given to those she trusts. Samia’s 2020 debut LP “The Baby” leaned towards the “chaos of growth diseases”, preferring melancholy and confrontational punk pop, and the same bright vibe is present on “Honey”, only more mature and tense in terms of only life experience. can give you.
Brazen teenage dreams are juxtaposed with self—deprecating memories of the efforts made to get rid of old bad habits – the title single “Kill Her Freak Out” offers a typical Finnerty brand of subtle ballads with vocals before dropping a bomb that only a broken heart can justify: “I hope you marry a girl from your hometown / And I’ll fucking kill her / I’m going to go crazy.” But the splendor of “Cute” lies in the juxtaposition of such moments of despair, which later gain faith in healing.
“Charm You” and “It Was for Me” encapsulate the ever—changing self-esteem we make about a broken relationship, the first is a cheerful determination to stay out of danger, the second gently holds onto the moments that made it worthwhile, too. The amazing ‘Breathing Song’ is completely immersed in the catharsis necessary to become a different person after a severe injury, Finnerty’s vocal masterpiece depicting a night “from the bar straight to the emergency room” that ends with a sudden scream haunting in his guttural simplicity.
Samia stubbornly pushes these pervasive moments of shame towards something brighter, even if she doesn’t feel better yet. “Mad At Me” brings to life a sparkling pop anthem, compensating for the lost time of “calming true feelings”, as, according to the artist, she did in her youth. The title track stands out for its appeal, however ironic it may be, while there is still a whisper of uncertainty when she admits, “I’m so surprised they love me” on the beautifully nude “Nanana,” as if too many questions could destroy the mirage of redemption.
The worst confessions of a young woman and the deeply revealing truth (“Dear” is littered with personal voice messages) somehow find a way to hope here, where so often we are forced to lie in the sticky discomfort of hatred. What courage to admit this terrible but changeable reality, in all its stupidity and searing pain, with the same crushing force as Samia does.
Release date: January 27, 2023
Record Label: Grand Jury