Scottish indie-pop artist Alex Amor releases her debut EP Love Language today; a five-track set that shows a surprisingly defined musical personality and bravery for someone on their first body of music. Diving headlong into emotional entanglements, dating disappointments and intimate trails of thought, Amor makes a captivating and amusing singer and lyricist. Aided by simply stylish production, Love Language heralds an artist who should be slipping her way into many people’s playlists this year.
Of course, we wanted to know about her influences, those songwriters who’ve helped guide her path to this point. In her On Deck, Amor tells us about four particularly luminary artists that have helped her escape, provoked new ideas and, ultimately, been there for her when she needed them.
Before we get into her picks, enjoy the excellently alluring title track from Love Language, with its lyric video.
Kurt Vile – “Wakin On A Pretty Day”
One of my favourite songs of all time is “Wakin On A Pretty Day” from Kurt Vile’s Waking On A Pretty Daze record. I think I’ve listened to it well over a hundred times. It’s hard to articulate the impact his music and this particular song has had on my life. Apart from the casual wisdom he imparts on his listeners so effortlessly, Vile has a knack for easing you into a trance as his meditative-like beats move you along at a reliable and steady pace. His conversational charm is something I appreciate in music – it feels like I’m his friend listening in on his every day natter about life. Vile easily transcends his ‘indie rock’ genre and that’s why it’s fascinating. His music can free you from the mundanity of any moment while simultaneously giving you space to think.
Corinne Bailey Rae – Corinne Bailey Rae
One of my favourite albums from childhood is Corinne Bailey Rae’s self-titled album. The songwriting on every song is nothing short of exquisite. I remember as a young girl getting lost in her world of calming vocals and raw production that perfectly complimented the music. It’s an album that pushes your emotions to either end of the scale – there’s moments of elation and then times of desperate longing and melancholy like on “Choux Pastry Heart”. I was 10 when I heard this record, daydreaming of what it was like to fall for a boy and perplexed at the emotional rollercoaster that is love.
Big Thief – Capacity
[Saddle Creek; 2017]
I’m a bit embarrassed to say I only started listening to Big Thief last year. It’s hard to pick a particular album because they are all so consistent. I chose Capacity because it contains a good few of their best records like the song “Mythological Beauty”. Adrianne Lenker, the lead vocalist, is an unbelievable poet who has a unique way with words and story telling. In this particular song, she stumbles over her own experience of childhood and manages to describe some pretty gruelling scenes with poetic ease over shimmering acoustic guitars and textured live drums. I’ve had the luxury of seeing Big Thief live and it’s clear why the band sound so coherent throughout their albums. They like to perform as one organism on stage, standing in their own intimate huddle and it’s this close knit connection they have which diffuses into their recordings as a band.
Kali Uchis – Isolation
[Rinse/Virgin EMI; 2018]
Isolation is one of my favourite albums of the past five years. Kali Uchis has a way of shape shifting genres on every track yet manages to sound entirely like herself. I love artists that merge old with new and Uchis does just that. The track “After The Storm” seems to fit the current feeling of the moment too. Her feel good futuristic nostalgia is at its best on this track, where she motivates us not to give up even though “we’ve been struggling endless days.” Her unapologetic self love is infectious too, which is a thread throughout all of her music.