sami.the.great – “Making Eyes”

sami the great

Sami Akbari, who assumes the musical alias sami.the.great, didn’t start writing songs until she was in college, but her love for music was apparent from a young age. Though born in the US, Sami lived in Iran when she was in 5th grade, her family exposing her musically to everything from Iranian stars like Googoosh to Western staples (Bob Marley, John Denver, Otis Redding). When she moved back to the US shortly after, her cultural introspective was somewhere between an Iranian and an American, which made it difficult to connect to others her age. Sami found solace in the music of The Beatles, which for Sami and many musicians was a true starting point as an artist.

A few decades later, Sami is a rising songwriter in NY. Her ambitions, talent, and worldly musical perspective help separate her material from other NYC indie-pop hopefuls. As “Making Eyes” shows, she has a penchant for starry-eyed pop ballads with infectious appeal; her overall sound is not too distant from the likes of Metric and Mates of State. Playful keys and a warm fuzzy guitar lead help lead in Sami’s angelic croon, half-mopey and half-optimistic in tone. She yearns for that special someone to make their move, as opposed to just “making eyes at me for days.” “It’s time for you to step up to the plate,” she sings over an enchanting keyboard stutter. Sweet coo-ing provides some wonderful vocal backing, as “Making Eyes” establishes itself as a track with just the right balance of saccharine sweetness and romantic yearning.

Fans are clearly smitten with the young artist, having contributed over $8000 to her Kickstarter account. It will help fund her upcoming Animation Tour, which sounds like a lot of fun. “I want to do something that is a little more interesting both musically and visually. I plan on creating a set using programs and instruments that will let me fill the spaces with sounds that a band may have filled, totally on my own,” Sami explains. “Along with the music, I’ve gotten an awesome animator, Preston Spurlock, to create a trippy, unique animation inspired by my music to be projected while I play my songs. It will hopefully be an audio-visual experience that will be new and enticing for the listeners/viewers.”

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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