Samantha Grimes returned to the music scene just in time for the pandemic.
Grimes grew up in Forest Lake, Minnesota and started playing guitar at the age of five. She performed in several groups as a teenager and briefly toured the tri-state area before taking a temporary hiatus from her music career. She returned to music around 2016 and has refined her style and sound in recent years. Her current group consists of herself, drummer Nick Engelhart and bassist Jon Larson.
“I finally had a band and made everyone understand my music and then the pandemic hit,” she said. “So we couldn’t play. ”
The band moved on to virtual concerts and live streaming events like everyone else, and did their best to weather the storm. Shortly after the start of the pandemic, Grimes received an email from a fan, asking how the group was handling COVID.
“I had no idea, but it turned out this guy was starting his own label,” Grimes said.
The man who contacted was Jonathan Sherman of Return Records, who signed a distribution deal with music company Sony The Orchard shortly after contacting Grimes.
Grimes signed a recording contract with Return Records this spring. So far, they have produced and released two singles and three more to come in 2021. The project will reach a creshendo in the first quarter of 2022 with the release of Grimes’ debut album.
The deal was a bit of a whirlwind for Grimes, who said she was excited to be able to expand the scope of her music.
“For so long my music has only been in the Twin Cities,” she said. “And it’s just crazy that right now the UK, Ukraine and Germany are our number one listening fan base. It’s surreal.
Grimes’ music is most often referred to as blues and alternative rock. Grimes doesn’t take care of the label and says her sound has changed a lot since she started playing.
“I was more folk, singer-songwriter when I started out. There were a few elements of pop, but it was a little more immature, ”she said. “And now, vocally, my voice has aged a bit. So it has a little more grain, which is really fun to play with.
Grimes writes all of his own music, and always has. She said for herself that there are two elements in the process.
“The initial element is to write the song and whatever you feel, whether it’s good, bad or ugly or messy, it all comes out. It’s about getting that emotion out and dealing with it. It’s just kind of throwing it all into the universe, ”she said. “But once the song is produced, mixed and mastered and everything’s done, it’s also its own catharsis. That’s all the hard work. People don’t realize how long it takes to get that end product that you can say is yours. It’s his own sense of satisfaction.
Grimes’ album doesn’t have a name yet, but it should be released early next year. She and her band are also finally able to perform live again and will be at the Stillwater Rivertown Fall Art Festival this October 2 at 4 p.m.