Lead single Like Family is oozing with Samantha Lindo’s soul-tinged splendour from the offset. Years later – after her grandparents came to the UK in the late 1950’s – Samantha’s grandfather took them on a trip when she was a child to find his old childhood house on an old sugar plantation. The song is based on a moment, a strong memory, of seeing him cry as they found his old house in ruins. “My grandparents’ family life had been complicated and it was almost as if I watched all his childhood and adult memories and feelings, weaved between continents and centuries run across his face at that moment. As one of the first black Anglican vicars in the UK, he used the language of accepting our ‘human frailties’. The inheritance from him I want to nurture is the willingness to hold paradox, forgiveness and grace for ourselves, others and the world, rather than the tempting tendency to judge, condemn and tear people down.”
The music video explores how this theme is intrinsically connected to nature and landscape. Samantha worked with Denise Rowe, contemporary and African dancer and non-stylised, environmental movement director in the natural liminal space of coastline. They used ideas around landscape and ritual to explore ideas of healing generational wounds and the often internalised legacy of colonial rule. “We had an incredible few days completely immersed in nature and encountered seal friends and bursts of unexpected sun exactly at the tight time”, Samantha elaborates. Denise has contributed to this season’s book pick, Wilder Journeys, a collection of non-fiction stories and poems on the human connection with nature. Never have so many people with incredible life experiences within nature, including Strictly Come Dancing winner Hamza Yasim, among others, committed to one book.
Shades of Yellow sits within the same thematic frame-work as Like Family and was written to flow straight from its ending. Channeling the likes of Kae Tempest and Self Esteem, Samantha uses spoken word to match the power and emotion of the song’s origin, which emerged from a conversation with Samantha’s dad. “It was provoked by him noticing a picture of me that I had hanging in my kitchen as a little three year old girl, naked on a yellow bike, with yellow glasses on a summer afternoon,” Samantha elaborates. “The track echoes subtle reflections on the effects of trauma, generational divides and the connecting back to the innocent desires of our inner child. “Sometimes art is often a powerful way to express and name what’s been handed down, and in turn that is part of healing it and stopping the cycle”.
Like Family is being released as a AA-single alongside Shades of Yellow, both out now.
Like Family / Shades of Yellow is the third release to be taken from Lindo’s upcoming debut album Ancestry, due for release on 10th November 2023 and funded by the Arts Council and MOBO Awards. The album’s previous releases Worthy and Little Songbird have already received praise from the likes of Earmilk, Noctis Magazine, Songwriting Magazine and When The Horn Blows to name a few.
‘Ancestry’ is available to pre-order here.