In the age of TikTok virality and quick-scrolling feeds, some artists rise to the occasion with a raw authenticity that commands your attention. Singer-songwriter Sam Short is one of those magnetic forces, winning over fans not just with her catchy tunes but also her compelling narrative. A fearless advocate for mental health, she’s turned the mirror on herself to capture the essence of human vulnerability in her debut EP, Faulty Wiring.
Created in a college bedroom in collaboration with co-writer Liza Kaye, the 5-track EP unfolds as an emotional travelogue penned by Sam during what she describes as her lowest point. Not shy about her struggles, Sam writes about her “toxic tendencies” and “obsession with melancholia,” encapsulating her journey of self-discovery. But don’t mistake her for another navel-gazing singer with a guitar; the musician’s somber songs help you to confront your own frailties.
Her breakout single and title track, “Faulty Wiring,” offers more than just a sonic experience. The song is inspired by the moody montage style of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” and delves deep into the complexities of her own character. She concedes that, like many of us, she’s a work in progress: “For better or worse, I am just wired differently,” she says.
Sam added, “I wrote this project during a time in which I felt I had truly hit rock bottom. I didn’t trust my mind, and I didn’t trust myself. Each song on my EP, Faulty Wiring, details my experience with my own toxic tendencies, my obsession with melancholia, and pure disillusionment.” Overall, this project is a declaration of Sam Short’s unique identity, laying the groundwork for an artistry that defies the common tropes of the singer-songwriter genre.
Below, we spoke with the musician about songwriting, creating her debut project, and her style among other topics.
Congratulations on releasing your EP, Faulty Writing! Putting out your debut project always bears a lot of pressure — what emotions are going through your mind, and what made this EP “the one”?
I am honestly really proud of this project and am so relieved it’s finally out. I have been anticipating what the release of my debut EP would look like for almost a year now, and I am equally surprised and excited that this is how it turned out.
Obviously, songs like “I Wouldn’t Love Me” and “Hooked” clicked with people and you’re already being hyped so early into your career. How is it to have that reaction already?
It is pretty unreal. I definitely don’t take that for granted either. When I see that some of these songs have millions of views or millions of streams, sometimes I have to mentally note that millions of people are actually listening to something I made. Isn’t that crazy?
What do you think it is about your songwriting that resonates so much with people?
I think that the lyricism throughout the project is brutally honest. I say things that I think a lot of people think but don’t say out loud. And I think that is equally shocking but relatable.
The title track, “Faulty Wiring,” sounds really incredible. Can you talk to me about what inspired the record?
I was trying to finish the project, and I didn’t know a way to try to encompass all of the themes throughout the record. I had been writing and writing, and nothing was feeling quite right. It wasn’t until I decided to completely strip it down and go more folky, that I realized — oh my gosh, I just need to talk about my brain. And the way I am wired. Because that’s what this whole EP is about: faulty wiring. I remember thinking of that line and feeling like it was really clever, ha.
I read that the music video was inspired by Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games.” Are you a big fan of Lana, or does that particular video have sentimental value to you?
I love Lana Del Rey so much. She is one of my greatest inspirations, both visually and lyrically. The “Video Games” music video was one of the first music videos I saw as a kid that resonated with me. It wasn’t high budget, it wasn’t a huge pop video. It was simple and artful. I just love it.
If we were to put the music to one side for a moment, what else makes you happy?
My cats, Doja Cat and Snoop Dogg.
Being an artist, music often collides with other forms of self-expression like fashion and beauty. How would you describe your style and glam these days?
That’s funny you say that because I was just talking to someone about this yesterday. We landed on “dark, editorial, horse girl chic.” Whatever that means.