Sam Craighead Releases New EP, Nearly Abandons Pretense

Collaboration evokes a new sound in “Self-Portrait w/Fries”

photo: Colleen Chilton

photo: Colleen Chilton


Columbus, Ohio-based Sam Craighead refines his balance between satire and sincerity in “Self-Portrait w/Fries.” The five track EP releases March 22 on Head2Wall Records.

The new record retains Craighead’s signature self-deprecating autobiographical glimpses alongside musings on life and masculinity in late capitalist America. The EP closes with a strike of earnestness: a rendition of Rickie Lee Jones’ “Skeletons,” the true story of a father-to-be killed by police at a traffic stop.

This collection of songs was produced by David Welsh, guitarist from The Fray who, along with bandmate Ben Wysocki, provides most of the instrumentation for the record.

“When David contacted me, I’d already been wanting to do a record where I don’t play or arrange any of the music,” Craighead said. “I was excited by the challenge of turning over creative control and doing something outside my comfort zone. We bonded over the Carpenters, Amy Grant, and a shared history growing up in the weird bubble of ‘80s and ‘90s evangelical Christianity.”

The result? A collection of tracks that ring authentic for Craighead’s style with the addition of airy synth, dynamic vocal arrangements and polished production reminiscent of ‘80s singer-songwriter albums. “Once recording and mixing was done, we were patting ourselves on the back saying ‘Wow! We figured out how to make a bad Paul McCartney record!’”

“Self-Portrait w/Fries” launches Friday, March 22 on major music streaming services, with featured singles dropping on Spotify in the preceding weeks.

Media inquiries can be sent to Lucy Ramos:, 513.535.2559


About Sam Craighead

In his review of Craighead’s 2017 album “Tuesday Night Music Club,” Stereogum’s Chris Deville wrote, “Craighead has developed a musical language all his own, both in terms of his rich chamber-pop arrangements and a sardonic wit communicated so gently that it sometimes takes a while to realize he’s clowning you.”

This brand of cheeky obscurity over a soft alt-rock soundtrack has drawn listeners into Craighead’s work both as a solo artist, and earlier as the primary songwriter of Heavy Mole and Feature Films.

He’s still clowning you, but in a sincere, empathetic way. Crying and snacking the whole time.

Sam writes songs that are funny and sad and true. They feel like hopes for something better couched in a description of where we are today.
— Sam Bodary, Hello Emerson

Press Coverage of “Self-Portrait w/Fries”

Locals: Sam Craighead at the Oracle

Columbus Alive

Local music limelight: Sam Craighead

The Columbus Dispatch

EP Review: Sam Craighead – Self-Portrait w/Fries



Self-Portrait w/Fries

available on major streaming services