by Hero Magnus
Musician Samiere released her most recent single on her birthday, July 12, as a (reverse?) birthday present for all of her fans and listeners. The song is called “No Service” and it is as unique and exciting as the artist herself.
Samiere’s voice is low and unassumingly sultry. She reminds me of Sade in this regard and also in many others. The band Sade writes love songs on unconventional topics with calm, cool tones, but they always end up in surprisingly emotional territory. Sade and Samiere are both focused on creating movement within the sonic exploration of one particular landscape, rather than through extreme melodic dynamism. And just as with Sade, you might finish listening to a Samiere song and be shocked about how melancholy the funky vibes make you feel. “Maybe you’re the kind that loves a good museum,” muses Samiere early on in the song.
Samiere has been incredibly prolific in this year alone, releasing an EP called XOXO and a single called “Prove” in addition to “No Service.” “No Service” takes place in a secluded location, miles west of Malibu, where there is literally no internet service. Samiere is “happy either way” as long as she’s with the person she loves.
The chorus’s central lyric illustrates what it means to fall through for a lover. “Fall through” is usually a negative term; you fall through on a commitment or an assignment. But here it’s a lovely thing, implying a lack of obligation, control, and intensity to the relationship. This turn of phrase mimics the coolness of Samiere’s melody. Both are mesmerising without being too harsh, which creates a gorgeous prosody.
The same is true of the title “No Service.” In addition to the allusion to internet service, “No Service” implies not just acting out the roles for a lover but instead falling into natural patterns. Samiere says she’s talking about her insecurities: “I believe that being vulnerable allows you the space to grow, to heal, the ability to learn to love again,” she wrote about the second verse.
The song is filled with waterfall-esque squeaks at the beginning and siren-y rings, blending into the background but filling out the high end of the song.
With this coolness, Samiere also holds the contradiction of saying she wants to be the number one artist in the world. She collaborates with Jason Aaron Mills, the rapper IDK, who is actually from Bowie, Maryland (solid DMV hometown!). He released his album “Is He Real” in 2019. She’s also collaborated with Athalie, who was also raised in Baltimore and spent his weekends as a teen going to the Maryland Institute College of Art. (Athalie is featured on another of Samiere’s recent songs, “Are You In or Are You Out.”) Samiere is beloved by our own community, and her genre-crossing fits right in with some cool community favorites like DC band Lotion Princess (check out their upcoming project “In the Summer”). She’s well on her way to being an honorary member of the DMV, bringing her beachy Malibu energy.
It’s impossible to stress how calm, cool, and nostalgic this kind of music is; Samiere really summons a brilliant voice here, the stronger and more distilled version of her earlier work. Check out “No Service” and keep an ear out for more of Samiere’s work soon.
Queer duo Witch Weather discuss new album and the influence of the DMV on their sound.
Philadelphia-based queer punks Witch Weather have a message for anyone who feels hopeless and worthless: you are not alone. With an irresistible sound that draws from 80’s goth and lo-fi grunge, the indie duo wears their heart on their sleeve, giving voice to complex emotions that many would opt to suppress in the recesses of their minds.
Join Alchemical Records as they connect with Witch Weather to discuss the band’s new self-titled album, their search for a sense of belonging as members of the queer community, the important element that keeps the duo’s creative bond strong, and the influence of the DMV on their sound.