Amilia Spicer’s last two studio albums, Seamless followed by Wow and Flutter, have provided the final foundational blocks for Spicer to make a claim that she’s among the most talented performers and songwriters working today.
Her latest single “Love’s For Living” eschews some of the darker material we heard on Wow and Flutter, but it’s clear that Spicer can invoke the season in an adult, even slightly poetic, way without neglecting to hit an entertaining note. Some might expect a tune like this, released specifically around the Christmas holiday, to be some sort of quasi-novelty tune, but she merely uses the time of the year as inspiration for songwriting impulses she would have likely pursued regardless of the date. It’s another resounding success for a singer/songwriter whose increasing level of success and visibility promises to propel her ever higher with each new release.
The song has a strong chorus that really gives Spicer something to sink her teeth into, but she fills the verses with the same presence, albeit tempered for effect. There’s a brief instrumental introduction before Spicer enters for the first time and she immediately dominates your attention, but it isn’t a case of her overshadowing the instruments. Instead, Spicer just possesses a compelling aura to her singing that few listeners won’t fixate on.
There’s great confidence in how Amilia Spicer handles the lyrical content and you can hear that strength in her transitions, but her acute sensitivity to the song’s “narrative” and subject matter is just as pronounced. Her singing sounds like another instrument in the song’s mix and the double-tracked backing vocals occasionally popping up show a flash of her wide vocal range. Some might hear this song as a relatively poppy affair and it certainly will have some commercial appeal, but there’s equally no question that Spicer brings something more to the song and performance alike.
Amilia Spicer Lets Her Voice Shine
The lightly clanging, country-ish strum powering the arrangement is underlined by the steady timekeeping kept, seemingly, by using the guitar bodies as drums. It sounds like there are some brush sticks at work too, but the choice to give the song this sort of pulse is a wise one however phrased. It accentuates the light touch that Spicer and her creative partners clearly want to convey and never overburdens the track or its sound. Thanks to the production, this approach also generates enough of a bottom end to the song that it makes it immeasurably stronger both live and on the recording.
Amilia K. Spicer’s music, dubbed “red dirt noir” by the singer and writer, has revealed another of its entertaining musical faces with this song and it’s sure to find renown as one of her best efforts yet. As Spicer has commented, she doesn’t come across as a studied profession with a skill set allowing her to profit on the modern music scene. Instead, every second of “Love’s For Living” seems like the product of someone defined by their musical ambitions. The commitment is total.
-review by Lance Wright