Have a cursory listen to Samantha Urbani’s latest track and you might think you’ve gone straight back to a time when the likes of Janet Jackson were ruling the charts. Well, albeit with a lot more crunching, aggressive guitars thrown into the mix (another little nod to her days fronting punk-pop group Friends).
But the first track from her upcoming EP ‘Policies of Power’ asked the listener to ‘Go Deeper’, to consider the necessity of visibility and accountability are, and in her words, “getting to the bottom of things, transformatively”. That’s exactly what ‘Hints & Implications’ encourages further. On the surface level, it’s a track where Samantha struggles to deal with a relationship that isn’t working, finding herself at breaking point.
Scratch that surface though, and Samantha says that it’s about “the ontology of truth”, and “whether communication/”honesty” is even possible”. As such, she constantly grapples with not just the state of her relationship, but also the nature of what “the truth” even is. “Thought it was sweet to have nothing to hide”, she sings, realising that sometimes this policy of honesty isn’t the best course of action, secrets becoming like Schrödinger’s Cat. “I’m caught up in needing the truth”, she admits at the track’s climax, vocal clips swirling around her as if trying to mask her plea. ‘Hints & Implications’ is more than just a belter of a vintage pop tune; it’s also a deft examination of perception and interpersonal relationships.