I have been lucky enough to get a sneaky peak of Amorie’s…
new E.P., Volume One. She talks to me about its themes and how it came together; what she has planned in terms of future material; why she moved to Liverpool – and the albums/artists who made an impact on her at a young age.
The talented young songwriter tells me about her plans for Christmas and aims for 2018; whether we can expect to see her perform very soon; what it feels like being compared with the likes of Lorde and James Blake; working with Abbie Nielsen on the track, Cold; a new artists we should check out – and some useful advice for upcoming songwriters.
(You can have a listen to her latest material on her website and typing 'cold' as the password).
Hi, Amorie. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! I’m doing well, thank you. It’s been a busy, but good, week!
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
I make downtempo Electronic-Pop music: the kind of thing you listen to when it’s midnight and you’re not quite over it yet.
Can you tell me about Volume One and its three-song, left-of-centre narrative? Is it true it was inspired by the end of a rocky relationship?
Not even just the end, but the cyclical pattern we were in.
We were both holding on to this relationship for way too long and kept going through these three stages of knowing things were about to get bad (Cold); feeling the weight of everything going wrong (Enough) and begging the other to come back one last time (Lover, Please).
It can be addicting, you know?
The first volume is out. What are your plans regarding future releases - and what kind of stories/themes can we expect?
Out…if you know the password! Haha.
Volume Two is really different from Volume One: One is the dark; Two is the dawn. It’s a lot gentler, a lot more optimistic and they very much take the form of two parts of a whole. There’s One for when things are going wrong: Two for when you’re in love and feeling good.
Abbie Nielsen co-wrote the track, Cold. It is about emotional dissonance. Was that an emotional song to write? What was it like working with Nielsen?
Definitely. It’s always hard to admit to yourself that you know what’s going on - but you’re still willing to go through it time and time again. Abbie is amazing. She’s really good at using this poetic language that’s specific enough to guide you into the plot - but open enough to find your own story within it.
That’s the sweet-spot in songwriting, I think.
Lover, Please is the swansong. Was it cathartic writing the song and did you learn a lot about yourself making the E.P.?
Extremely cathartic and necessary for my own healing...
I learned a lot about my own habits, patterns and excuses. Love is blindness, isn’t it and, once you open your eyes; sometimes you wish you could unsee it and go back to the ignorance. Instead of choosing ignorance; I decided it was time to break down what was happening, find the stages within it; escape the cycle and move on. Making this record allowed me to seal things up and move forward - and I’m excited for Volume Tw, as I can express an entirely different side of things.
Which artists did you grow up listening to? Which musicians have inspired your own music?
A blend of things. I love The Beatles and Queen first and foremost and, growing up, my mom listened to a lot of really great female artists like Norah Jones. I gravitated a lot towards writers like Freddy Mercury - who layered up lots of vocals. I love really low, full-bodied female voices like Nina Simone but I also love really current production - and am definitely inspired by artists like Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar.
How important was your move to Liverpool aged eighteen – where you studied at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts?
My whole life I knew I didn’t belong where I was and I felt really isolated, confused and (eventually) very frustrated and depressed. Moving to Liverpool was like coming home for the first time. It allowed me to really figure out who I was and what I wanted, both personally and professionally.
You have been compared with the likes of James Blake and Lorde. Are these artists important you?
Thank you. That’s a huge compliment!
Extremely (important). I think they’ve both been at the forefront of production; both are really meticulous, poetic songwriters - and are also both really great, looow vocalists.
IN THIS PHOTO: Maximillian/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
I’m addicted to Maximillian right now. From the second I heard that really bare, opening line of Higher…I was hooked.
If you had the chance to select the three albums that mean the most to you – which would they be and why?
In no specific order:
The Beatles (White Album) - The Beatles
Such a timeless album: I’ll never get tired of it. I used to be able to play the whole thing on the piano - but it’s been a few years since I gave it a go. Haha. There are some really heavy moments on that album; some that can get overlooked considering the big tracks like While My Guitar Gently Weeps. I remember the first time I heard “Can you take me back where I came from/Can you take me back?” at the end of Cry Baby Cry and feeling it really resonate with me (and I guess I took that feeling and followed Paul all the way to Liverpool…).
I love when an album really seals itself off and, of course, Good Night is an amazing way to do that.
Yeezus - Kanye West
Man; this is an ALBUM. So industrial, so minimal. I would love to make music that sonically can sit beside this album. The percussion on Black Skinhead gets me so pumped up and feeling like I can face anything. The themes are amazing and so well-rounded as well: you go really high on I Am a God and take a lot of humility on Guilt Trip (“If you love me so much, then why’d you let me go?”).
Like Drawing Blood - Gotye
Gotye is a seriously underrated artist - and let’s establish this before someone starts singing Somebody That I Used to Know. Haha. The sounds he chooses are so eclectic and interesting and The Only Thing I Know is, without a doubt, my favourite song of all time.
There’s so much pain in his songwriting...
Is there any advice you would give to fellow artists coming through right now?
You’ve got to be your own biggest fan and advocate: if you won’t stand up for yourself, who will?! There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your work and shamelessly doing so.
Enjoy the ride and take it as far as your heart desires.
Can we see you perform anywhere soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
I’ll be headlining The Workshop in London on February 15th! I’m so excited to play Volume One live for you guys.
It’s going to be massive.
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already - or will you be busy working?
Haha. I’ll be working a little, actually! I’m going to my hometown in America for the holidays - and there’s a producer I absolutely love there and have to visit each time I’m in town. We’ve been working together since I was fourteen and we really get each other - and always have the same vision in mind.
I think that kind of mutual understanding comes through in the music we make.
What are your aims for 2018? What do you hope to achieve?
I hope to achieve a lot. I think “You can do anything you put your mind to” is a lot more than a cute saying. I plan to formally release Volume One and really give it the run it deserves.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Ohhh…play I’ll Be Around by The Growlers. That bassline?! That’s a song to walk out to…