Sam Lynch “Off The Rails” – Deep Lyricism to the Sound of Folk

With a beautiful folk sound, “Off The Rails” is an emotionally deep song to the tune of self discovery and, in my interpretation, mental illness. The comforting guitar playing and melodic vocals pave way for powerful lyricism about realizing that you may be ‘off the rails’ compared to others. The opening verse focuses in on a doctor prescribing medication, though with enough ambiguity to still be relatable for those going through different struggles. The chorus opens up with an airy sound that feels like falling backwards into an open blue sky as the singer contemplates if she’s falling off the expected path of life. Whether she’s singing about personal experiences or what dealing with these mental struggles is like overall, “Off The Rails” is an emotional ballad presented in a beautiful song. No matter what you’re going through in life, it’s okay to be different and acknowledge the struggles that others may not have to face. It’s okay to realize that you’re driving on a different set of rails than everyone else.


On a farm in central Germany, with a small backpack and a dead cell phone, Sam Lynch found herself in a damp cellar, sitting in front of an out-of-tune piano. It was the beginning of a story shared by many: in the wake of a major life shift, Lynch followed the impulse to throw everything familiar out the window, and lean into the free-fall of uncertainty. She quit her jobs, gave away most of her belongings, and set out to travel solo. Yet, in the midst of this relatively un-extraordinary story, a quiet, extraordinary shift occurred; upon returning from a five month independent journey through Europe in 2016, Lynch finally surrendered to the magnetic musical pull that she had been resisting for so many years.

Based in Vancouver, Lynch has been evolving and expanding her relationship with music for quite some time. She started writing songs at a very young age as a way of processing the world around her. Since then, Lynch has worked to distill the emotions that are experienced across generations, and shed light on the simple stories that have the ability to be profoundly moving. She has pushed through the slight discomfort that often accompanies vulnerability, and channeled those feelings into an expansive collection of songs for her upcoming LP—some of which were recorded in her basement, others recorded in world-renowned studios in Montréal alongside producer Sam Woywitka.

The lush new songs, mixed by Robbie Lackritz (Feist / Bahamas), are an ode to self-discovery and to the subtle-yet-profound moments of life. Along with Woywitka (Chin Injeti /Echlo), Lynch was joined by Isaac Symonds and Dylan Phillips of Half Moon Run, Mishka Stein (Patrick Watson), and Volodia Schneider (Aliocha) for instrumentation and arrangements, as well as Leif Vollebekk for key piano parts on a few songs. The result is an unpredictable, vulnerable, strident and sincere album, built upon strong lyricism and dynamic, experimental instrumentation. As Lynch says about the new songs – “if I get goosebumps, tingly in my legs, tight in my chest, or my stomach drops, I feel like things are working.”

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