Samantha Sidley’s Interior Person is a testament to the jazz singer’s lifelong love of vocalists. “My whole life was a song,” Sidley says of her childhood. “If I looked at a tree, it was a song. If I felt happy, sad, joy, it was a song… I’ve always considered myself an interpreter, which is sort of an undervalued art form. I like to take a song and make the story true for me.” The record was produced by her wife Barbara Gruska (The Belle Brigade, Fiona Apple, Ray Lamontagne), who also drums on the LP, in a studio Sidley built in her childhood bedroom. Says Sidley, “My record sounds exactly like I needed it to sound – like the old records I grew up on, mixed with now and the future.”
Throughout the LP she uses her voice on original songs written for her by Inara George (The Bird And The Bee), Alex Lilly, and Gruska. “They wrote songs that are all very personal to my story – they literally are my story – and from my lesbian perspective, which I appreciate so much,” Sidley explains. The record kicks off with the anthem “I Like Girls” which was the first single released from the album. Another highlight, “Listen!!,” was written by Gruska and Lilly as a kind of “thoughtful person’s revenge song” aimed squarely at mansplainers and steamrollers in the world. Amidst the originals, there is also a cover version of The Beach Boys’ “Busy Doing Nothin’” that serves as a nod to Sidley’s background as a youthful singer of standards in the legendary Oak Room in New York City’s Algonquin Hotel.
“Ms. Sidley has a sweet, girlish voice, so light that at times it almost disappears. But that vocal weightlessness is somewhat deceptive. She holds in reserve an airier version of the wail deployed by Rickie Lee Jones and Laura Nyro, which injects blushes of emotional color into her mostly playful singing.” —The New York Times
“‘I Like Girls’ takes us back to the speakeasies of the 20s, with flirtatious saxophones and crisp, expressive vocals. The song is a sophisticated and delicious ice-breaker, serving anthemic lyrical content for an evolving culture. So grab a whiskey, mind the feather boa, and sing along.” —Grimy Goods
RIYL: Regina Spektor, Norah Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, The Bird And The Bee, Alex Lilly, Ingrid Michaelson, Madeleine Peyroux, The Beach Boys
FCC Warning: Track 4, “Butterfly In My Ass.” The Radio Edit, Track 11, omits the word “sh*t” but retains lyrics that may offend some listeners.
Recommended Tracks: Track 1, “I Like Girls,” Track 6, “Listen!!,” Track 8, “Busy Doin’ Nothin’,” Track 11, “Butterfly In My Ass (Radio Edit)”
Label: Release Me Records
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