Sam Phillips : Solid State – Songs from the Long Play

Sam Phillips might best be known for her appearance in 1995’s Die Hard With a Vengeance (in which she played a mute terrorist), or maybe for her 1991 musical tour supporting her friend Elvis Costello, or, more recently, for performing songs and scoring music for the Gilmore Girls TV show. But regardless of the context, she has the ability to compose and sing very compellingly.

In 2009, she launched a concept project called Songs for the Long Play, for which fans paid in advance to receive her digital recordings as they were released over the course of 12 months. The project, which was done without a label, included five EPs and a full-length album. On Solid State, Phillips offers 13 songs from that year-long effort. The disc builds nicely, with a few tracks that jump out, including “Happy Mediums,” “Tell Her What she Wants to Know,” and the standout “Lever Pulled Down.”

Phillips is a skilled musician who writes clever lyrics and delivers them with an intriguing voice that at times echoes Madeleine Peyroux, Kirsty MacColl  and Lucinda Williams, among other similarly talented vocalists.

Solid State – Songs from the Long Play is out now on Little Box Recordings.