Genre-defying guitarist, singer, and songwriter Samantha Fish unveiled the video for “Bulletproof,” the lead track from Kill Or Be Kind, her debut album for Rounder. The album, which will be released on September 20, was produced by three-time Grammy winner Scott Billington and mixed by two-time Grammy winner Steve Reynolds.
Fish said, “‘Bulletproof’ is about losing touch with yourself when you try to make everyone else happy. It’s a little bit of observation on society’s standards and the music industry-how people can criticize every little thing, and because you’re in show business you’re expected to be bulletproof as an individual.”
“Vulnerability being taken as weakness, you put on a mask to steel yourself,” she continued. “It’s a facade, but we all do it anyway.”
Watch the video HERE
Anyone who has ever heard Fish’s previous albums knows that she has earned a place in the top rank of contemporary blues guitarists and that her voice can wring the soul out of a ballad and belt out a rocker with roof-shaking force.
While those virtues are fully in evidence on Kill Or Be Kind, each of the songs on the album does far more than simply provide a setting for Fish’s pyrotechnics. They tell captivating stories, set up by verses that deftly set the scene, choruses that lift with real feeling, and hooks that later rise up in your thoughts, even when you’re not aware that you’re thinking of music at all. It’s the kind of songwriting that emerges when raw talent is leavened by experience and aspiration, and when a committed artist genuinely has something to say. Those qualities make Kill Or Be Kind a genuine artistic breakthrough for Fish.
Fish sought out high-quality songwriting collaborators for the album – the likes of Jim McCormick (who has worked with Fish before and also written for Luke Bryan and Keith Urban); Kate Pearlman (who has worked with Kelly Clarkson); Patrick Sweeney; Parker Millsap; and Eric McFadden. The result is an album on which each song is distinct, but the complete work hangs together as a coherent, entirely satisfying statement.
Fish propels “Watch It Die” with an insistent guitar riff, but near the song’s end two female background singers lend the song a haunting soulful feel. Meanwhile, “Love Letters” moves on an insinuating, stop-time riff in its verses until it bursts in passion on its chorus. Both songs use horn sections for finesse and texture. “Love Letters” also introduces one of the album’s central themes: the allure of losing yourself in love – and the dangers of it. “Keep waking up in the bed I made,” Fish sings. “Forget the pain when you wanna play/I’m back to broken when you go away.”
The title track, a seductive ballad, offers a lover a stark choice: “Make up your mind/I can kill or be kind.”
The songs “Dirty,” “Love Your Lies” and “Fair-Weather” explore similar themes – how deceit, self-deception and shifting expectations can alter the course of life and love.
The affecting ballad “Dream Girl” stands the endearment of its title on its head and explores the dilemma of love not coming to fruition.
On “She Don’t Live Around Here Anymore,” a soul ballad once again bolstered by tasteful horn parts, the singer confronts the feeling of being used and finds empowerment in walking away.
“You Got It Bad (Better Than You Ever Had)” is about working towards your dreams and the knifes edge we often walk to reach our goals.
“Trying Not to Fall in Love With You” finds the singer not wanting to rush a relationship – and therefore undermine it. ”
Having completed an album that she believes in so strongly – “This is me coming through, my personality,” she says – Fish is eager to bring it to the world. “I got the moon in the back of my mind, and I want to shoot for it!” she declares. “I want to reach over genre lines and get out to as many people as possible. This album is so broad – and it’s all me. So I’m just hoping it catches people and appeals to them.”
Fish is currently on tour. A full list of dates is below. More dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
Pre-order link HERE
Kill Or Be Kind Track Listing
- Kill or Be Kind
- Love Letters
- Watch it Die
- Try Not to Fall in Love with You
- Love Your Lies
- Dream Girl
- She Don’t Live Around Here
- You Got It Bad
Samantha Fish On Tour:
8/09/19, Louisville, CO, Louisville Street Fair
8/10/19, Angel Fire, NM, Festival Eclectica
8/16/19, Warren, PA, Rally in the Valley
8/17/19, Cockeysville, MD, Hot August Music Festival
8/23/19, Paola, KS, Paola Roots Festival
8/24/19, Freeland, MI, Freeland Blues Festival
9/05/19, Urbana, IL, Ellnora / The Guitar Festival
9/13/19, Telluride, CO, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
9/14/19, Telluride, CO, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
9/21/19, Louisville, KY, Bourbon & Beyond
9/24/19*, Portland, OR, Revolution Hall
9/25/19*, Seattle, WA, Neptune
9/27/19*, Stateline, NV, Montbleu Resort
9/29/19*, San Francisco, CA, Fillmore
10/01/19*, Chandler, AZ, Chandler Center for the Arts
10/03/19*, West Hollywood, CA, Troubadour
10/04/19*, West Hollywood, CA, Troubadour
10/05/19*, Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up