Release Date: 4th October 2019
Label: Crocodile Laboratories
Formats: CD / DD / DSP
It must be a risky business wanting to bare your soul in music, but Amy Studt pulls it off with aplomb on her third album, eleven years after My Paper Made Men.
The first track, I Was Jesus In Your Veins, is so much more than catchy upbeat chart fodder; frustration and confusion from not understanding why a relationship has turned and where to go next pervades the lyrics. “What’s up now? What ya gonna do?” You need to look deeper into the music of Amy Studt.
The tunes are often melodious and exquisitely sung; burrow further into her lyrics to get the most out of her meticulously constructed songs, using every inch of the talent she has honed since her teenage years, gleaned from a musical family background. Beautifully haunting, Let the Music Play builds towards a great crescendo. If this song doesn’t send a shiver down your spine you’re not human.
Throughout the album, the music speaks for itself. In Sleepwalker, we find love amidst the violent street demonstrations and tranquillity amongst aggression. She showers us with every drop of her musicality expressing these paradoxes; sometimes soft, sometimes harsh, sometimes flowing gently, sometimes raging, sometimes dark, sometimes light. Never one dimensional is Amy. There is more thought provocation in Overdose and more spine chilling in the eerie The Water; distortion aplenty but even with the soft cymbals concluding the song, you’ll be transfixed.
Follow the lyrics in these songs – these tunes deserve more than just a passing ‘oh that’s a nice tune, I can hum along to that’ …. there’s subtle meaning in each of these pieces of music. You get the impression that every line has been painstakingly chosen, no off the cuff ditties, but compelling.
Don’t always try to make sense of the lyrics because she seems to be looking for answers amid the confusing life experiences as she explores for meaning within each experience by exploring the boundaries of her composition expertise.
In One Is The Only Number, there is a simple message of apology for causing hurt. Simple in its composition, there is no need to complicate things musically. A basic beat and single strumming on the guitar is as slimmed down as the message…Sorry.
The simplicity of production and message continues on This Time and Different Coloured Pills, as if trying to make up and recover from discrepancies of One Is The Only Number.
Then just as we have been gently lulled, Amy continues to surprise us with a punctuated loud call opening to Violently with Love in which she musically and lyrically pulls out all her varied talents with different rhythms and vocal styles in one song. Mixed with reprises of the opening call are a powerful raging voice and gentle, sweet balladry with keyboard accompaniment matching the voice; a bewitchingly graceful song despite the powerful opening. Again the longing to make sure a treasured relationship doesn’t go to waste.
In the final title track song Happiest Girl In The Universe, the message of not wanting to mess her life up continues as does her tender and accomplished use of the piano.
After success in the charts, with her musical talent , Amy could quite easily churn out regular hits but she clearly sees her musical prowess as a vehicle to express her innermost feelings and isn’t afraid to take lots of time. With no published recordings since 2008, this sombre, passionate recording is a long-awaited treat.
If you want a pre-Christmas present, you can see her live at The Castle in Manchester on 3rd December.