What happens when a talented group of songwriters and musicians teams up with the front-man of My Morning Jacket for their debut full-length album?
Amo Amo happens. The band's eponymous debut is a well-crafted collection of groovy dream pop, but they don't allow themselves to get too wrapped up in the constraints of genre. The band is truly unbridled on their freshman effort, freely and gracefully weaving through an eclectic list of influences, resulting in a sound that is as unique as it is fun and infectious. The eight songs of this release show that Amo Amo is not a band that will allow themselves to be put in a box.
Come for the dream pop ambiance (expertly produced by the veteran of ethereal rock, My Morning Jacket's Jim James) stay for the jam band vibe and solos, funky guitar licks and bass lines, retro soul harmonies, and timeless songwriting. Much of this album sounds like something from another era – oscillating between the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Part of this can be attributed to the sparse and stripped-down, somewhat lo-fi quality of the production, but much of this vintage sound comes from the songwriting itself. It is almost entirely organic, save for a couple of synths layered into the mix here and there.
Amo Amo is not feeding into the trend of heavy sampling, auto-tuned vocals, big electronic drums, or 808 basses that pervade pop music today. They are making modern music the old-fashioned way – with nothing more than a bass, a guitar, a keyboard, a drum set, and a few microphones. This album was made for vinyl.
The band's self-titled debut album comes out on April 26. If you like what you hear, you can catch Amo Amo on tour this summer.
Dustin DiPaulo is a writer and musician from Rochester, New York. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University and can most likely be found at a local concert, dive bar, or comedy club (if he's not getting lost somewhere in the woods).
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