Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Johanna Samuels - "Ugly on the Inside"

Photo by David-Simon Dayan

Johanna Samuels is an artist making folk pop that is so close to being mainstream but has just enough of a unique sound to keep it interesting. Her new single, "Ugly on the Inside," sounds a little like modern Jenny Lewis but a little more country. It has this upbeat sound to it, and it's an absolutely beautiful song. If it was just a perfectly straightforward folk pop song, it would be a wonderful song. But something about "Ugly on the Inside" sets it apart from other songs. Samuels just has a slight quirk to the song that keeps it unique and compelling. Plus, Samuels' voice has this quality I've never heard before. There's a natural twang to her vocals that doesn't quite sound like anyone else. It helps suck in the listener and demands that you listen to her lyrics even if you're not typically a lyrics person.

Johanna Samuels says of her new single:

“This song is a combination of both my inner demons and some experiences that shook me emotionally. I can’t control the fact that unkind self-talk, thoughts and fears always have the capacity to emerge. This was the beginning of me learning to surrender to all of it and let it pass through and make space for quiet and joy. In many ways, it’s a song about owning yourself and coming into your own power.”

You can watch the video for "Ugly on the Inside" below. Bystander is due out June 23 on Jealous Butcher Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Johanna Samuels, check out the artist's Twitter and Instagram.

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