The Melodic Indie Music of Amy Jay
Bruce Von Stiers
Amy Jay is an indie folk artist whose two EP's were critical successes. Now Amy has embarked on a new musical journey with a full album titled Awake Sleeper.
Whereas Amy has been noted for melodic indie folk music, this new album adds a bit of synth and a sliver of electronica to the mix.
The album has ten songs and a play time of forty-two minutes. It was recorded and produced by Jonathan Seale at his Mason Jar Music studio in Brooklyn, New York. Seale is known for his work with Feist, Lucious and Andrew Bird.
Amy and Seale picked a group of top notch musicians to play on the album. On guitar and pedal steel was Mike Robinson. A former member of the Jeff Austin Band, Robinson is currently a member of Railroad Earth. Jordan Rose is the drummer for the album. Theo Katzman and Cory Wong are just two of the many artists that Rose has drummed for. Having worked with artists such as Henry Jamison, Andrew Freedman plays piano and synths on the album for Amy. Duncan Wickel has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, toured with Molly Tuttle and garnered praise with his band, Rising Appalachia. He plays violin and cello on this album. Rounding things out on the album are Chris Parker on guitar and Jeremy McDonald on bass.
As for Amy, she played guitar on the album and did the vocals. She also wrote all of the songs on the album.
Lucid Dream is the first song. It begins with the sound of a subway train. It moves into a mellow sound. Amy has tremendous, melodic vocals. She sings of dreams of earlier, simpler times and that nothing's making sense. It's a song with some angst, but the vocals are wonderfully fluid.
Relying on someone else to make herself better, is what the song Reliance is pretty much about. Again, Amy was melodic, fluid vocals. And the song has some great music backing the vocals.
Commute is yet another great song with beautiful, melodic vocals.
Call My Name harks back to Amy's folk roots. It has great guitar in front of other instrumentation on the song. And at about the middle of the song, things turn into an almost orchestral sound with strong drum backing. And then the back end of the song things move into a kind of anthem tone. From what I heard in the lyrics, the song is about a strained relationship.
Amy's vocals are slow and somewhat aching, yet melodic in the song Inner Critic.
The first thing I liked about the song Monster, was the great piano that started the song. The music throughout the song was terrific, and once again, the vocals are great. There is some really cool synth music in the song as well.
Bide My Time is a slow and haunting folk styled song. But it ends with an anthem styled blend of music.
Folk styled guitar backs Amy's vocals in the song Sorrow. But then things turn into a bit of an electronica, ambient sound.
Remember is about a withering relationship. It has some nice guitar and drum. I know I keep repeating myself, the Amy's vocals here are fluid and melodic on the song.
The album closes with the song Self-Deprecation. A wind chimes type of sound starts the song, followed by what might be considered a tiny orchestral sound. The song has a folk tone to the base with some other interesting music and sound effects in the background. The song moves back into the type of indie folk music that Amy became known for.
From information that was provided to me about the album, Amy used many of her life experiences to write the songs. Especially her day-to-day life in New York City. She was quoted as wanting the music to reflect lyrical themes that the songs were intended to. I really think that Amy succeeded with that. Again, repeating myself, the vocals were melodic and fluid throughout the album. And the musicians that were chosen complemented Amy's vocals very well.
Awake Sleeper was just released the other day. You can stream it through all the major services. You can also order a copy of the album through Amy's website.
Amy doesn't have any upcoming concert dates at this time, but I'm sure she'll be touring soon. You can find out more about Amy and the new album at http://www.amyjaymusic.com/
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© 2022 Bruce E Von Stiers