REVIEW: ‘Is There Something in the Movies?’

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Is There Something in the Movies? Cover

“Is There Something in the Movies?” is the latest single from Samia via Grand Jury Music, produced by Lars Stalfors, brotherkenzie, Jake Luppen, and Caleb Hinz. This melancholic acoustic guitar piece is perfect for the mood of the endless, shut-in days drowning Samia’s hometown New York City of late.

Love, loss, being invisible, and being fed up with boys are familiar themes for Samia, and are all beautifully and poetically rendered in “Is There Something in the Movies?.” The creative vernacular of her couplets suspends the piece just above lugubrious. Using euphemisms like somebody who “died of attention” or pivoting from discussing dying too young with “anyway, you’re invited to set” lightens the mood just enough to prevent the song from an otherwise potentially dismal outlook.

“I left you in life ’cause you don’t need my pen
To embellish your noteworthy parts
I only write songs about things that I’m scared of
So here, now you’re deathless in art”

A significant portion of Samia’s seriously impressive vocal range is on display in “Is There Something in the Movies?” as she gracefully switches between octaves. Particularly in the chorus, it is a simple line, but the distinct repetitions add to both the impact of the message and the catchiness of its tune. The self-harmonizing throughout also adds to the song’s warmth, especially as the subtle effect on the primary vocal track becomes less subtle and rears more emotion as the verses progress.

“And is there something in the movies that’s better than my love?
Is there something in the movies that’s better than my love?”

The slightly arpeggiated single guitar strum per beat is just the right mood for this song. Any more instruments or strumming would detract from the loneliness the song sits with. Yet, the low notes and occasional riffs feel entirely welcome to fill in the void between breaths. It ties the song to precisely the feeling many of us are beleaguered by whilst social distancing: a sleepless sadness, perhaps escapable if only those chasms between breaths could be filled.

“Is There Something in the Movies?” was released with a harrowing and gorgeous music video directed by Samia and Matt Hixon starring Maya Hawke and Charlie Plummer. The video shows two apparent lovers at ends with one another, only they’re performing on the set of a movie. The line between a love gone awry and a staged performance is blurred so well that as Samia herself obtusely pops in and out of the repeating scene. The progressively inexplicable interactions and culminating breaking for the fourth wall by Samia seem to ponder whether love is ever anything more than a performance put on to fulfill exogenously derived expectations.

“Is There Something in the Movies?” is a beautiful melancholy, perfect for the lonely times we are living in. It feels just like how this moment feels without ever stooping too deep into a depressive mood, especially if chased with the rest of Samia’s musically eclectic and thematically relative collection of singles.

“Is There Something in the Movies?” is available now.

Is There Something in the Movies?
5

TL;DR

“Is There Something in the Movies?” is a beautiful melancholy, perfect for the lonely times we are living in. It feels just like how this moment feels without ever stooping too deep into a depressive mood, especially if chased with the rest of Samia’s musically eclectic and thematically relative collection of singles.