(Photo Credit: Robbie Jeffers)
We had the opportunity to get advance access to Amo Amo's self-titled album which was produced by My Morning Jacket's Jim James! The album will be released on April 26! We also had the opportunity to do an Artist Spotlight interview with Amo Amo! Amo Amo will be joining Jim James on tour and opening for My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks Amphitheater! Be sure to check out our track-by-track review of Amo Amo's self-titled release as well as our Artist Spotlight feature!
Advance Review: Amo Amo - Amo Amo
"Closer To You" opens with fantastic homemade harmonies that are reminiscent of Fleet Foxes. This quickly shifts into a classic sound that evokes comps to music of the 70's, especially vocally. The vocals here from Love Femme are absolutely dynamic and pop right off the track. The music behind provides a solid structure. This track also evokes comps to Jenny Lewis' latest work. "When I Look At You" has more dynamic vocals that initially remind me of the band's producer, Jim James work on My Morning Jacket. Nestled in the genre of dream pop, Amo Amo's music is so much more as it brings in musical tropes from rock and classic music from bygone times, all while keeping a foot in the present.
"When We're Gone" again begins with dynamic harmonies and then with the vocalists playing well off of one another. There's a slight electronic beat to the track that lightly shifts in and out. The melody and vocals play off one another in a manner similar to how the vocals did. Then the melody breaks out into a full electronic beat before the vocals join back. The track is subtle, never overplaying it's hand, this is dream pop at its finest. "Antidote" begins with classic guitar and bass line. Vocals come in unison, there is something vintage 70's about this track as well. The melody breaks out towards the chorus, this is a song that I could easily see people getting up and moving around to. There's a nice guitar solo thrown in for good measure around the 2:30 into the track and it elevates the melody. Some of the backing melody has components of modern electronic to it, which is a cool fusion to hear.
"The Only Thing I Got To Live For Is Love" slows things down a bit, but keeps all the nostalgia feels in the guitar and percussion. The track evokes comps to a lounge song with Femme's delicate vibrato hovering above the melody like fog in the morning. The harmonies on the chorus feel so warm and so true. The hook on this song is just so damn good, hearing damn near the entire band sing "The only thing I got to live for is love/let me give it to ya" is golden. There's two good guitar solos in the song, one at 2:50 and one at 4:20. "Teacher" mixes classic 70's R&B vibes with modern electronic music. It again shows off the dynamic harmony ability of Amo Amo, here they have some fun with their vocal registers shifting throughout the track.
"I Wish I Had The Power" has a nice electronic percussion beat to it, with keys that evoke classic sounds of the 70's again. Vocally, this track evokes comps to earlier Michael Jackson with some of the vibrato, particularly on the verses. The guitar present throughout the song evoke memories of The Bee Gees. "Echoes Just Begun" focuses on harmonies and Femme's isolated vocals playing off one another. The melody in the background sets the foundation here, but the vocals are the main attraction of this track
Closing Thoughts - This album is slick, it's tight, and it's fresh. Amo Amo dynamically combine sounds and tropes of a bygone era with 70's R&B/soul, modern electronic, and pop. The guitar solos present throughout the track evoke comps to alternative rock acts such as My Morning Jacket. The music is so good, but I can't forget about the vocals. There are such strong harmonies here with vocalists going all over the place including falsetto. Basically every track the group puts on show vocally. Never is this more present than the juxtaposition between the harmony of vocals and Femme's isolated vocals on "Echoes Just Begun". The song is a downright vocal masterpiece and an achievement for the genre. If you're a fan of great vocals, guitar, and classic melodies, you're going to love this one.
Rating - 4/5
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"Music pursued us! Music is an unending mystery, irresistibly alluring. We all started in early childhood."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"It usually starts with all of us set up in a living room of a house in some remote location, gear and cables everywhere, just exploring and having fun. Often Love will have some pre-written lyrics and melodies that fit in magically to a piece of music we're working on, and then we fine tune the song around that."
"Some songs Omar has written the lyrics to, and others we all write together. There's really no rules and we keep trying to stay open to what the song is asking for... sometimes an entire song, lyrics & all, is seemingly channeled from the deep heart center of some parallel universe & we love moments like that. We devote a lot of hours to learning & refining songs from our impromptu recordings."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"Selena, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Bjork, Shuggie Otis, Ann & Nancy Wilson."
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"Omar plays a custom Tele he made with a friend through a Fender Vibrolux from the early 70’s. He recently started using a Supro Comet, which he loves, and we also used on the record. We like effects pedals... I think we counted 30 + as a band. Love really digs the Electro-harmonix Mellotron pedal & plays a St. Vincent Music Man guitar. Boss Re-20 Space Echo on vox is fuego."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"Joyful and free. People come to dance, there's a lot of love. The best is when a venue sounds really good, when it sings and helps the sound carry in a beautiful way. Also, when the staff is helpful and happy to be there, that really makes all the difference. And when a venue has the awareness to provide water & other amenities without using single use plastic, like individual plastic water bottles, we dig that a lot."
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"That it comes from a place of love, joy & unity."
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"We're releasing our debut album April 26th!"