Amy Mayson lets her musical talents shine when she released her EP, The Suspects (under the name Amy & The Calamities). It was six beautifully written tracks filled with captivating stories and mesmerising vocals. All with a blues/folk soundtrack created by her stunning guitar skills and Georgina Leach’s talents on her violin. To understand how good it all sounds, listen to “Bless” and the bluesy goodness that is “I’m Looking at the Door”. It is an excellent release that deserved the praise it received.
Now, Mayson returns with her latest collection of stories called Asante Sana (thank you very much in Swahili). This six-track EP has a “raw and honest character”, and most of the live album is recorded in one session (at the historic Angel Studios, North London). It offers a fantastic array of sounds, with Mayson bringing her vocals, acoustic guitar and stomp box. Once again, she teams up with Georgina Leach, who adds more depth to the soundtrack with her violin, cello and accordion. Nick Pini also contributes with his double bass and percussion elements.
The EP begins with, “Asante Sana”, offering a mesmerising blues riff on her acoustic guitar. Mayson gets ready for her story to begin. She starts it with, “Well I try my best to stay rooted, on a Monday / Oh I do, yes I do, I get suited and booted on a Monday”. Her storytelling qualities have evolved so much since her debut release. Her lyrics have more depth, and her delivery has become even more impressive. With its bluesy tone, there are moments when you expect a harmonica to join in. However, Leach’s violin takes its place. It may sound a little different, but it is just as good and enhances the listening experience. As things progress, you find yourself singing along to its hook, “Ain’t it about time for a little glass of sunshine / I heard on the grapevine that it’s going to be alright!”.
“For Marion” is a song filled with so much emotion with its honest lyrics. You can hear how much this means to her as she shares the opening lines, “Oh what a dream I had that dark September night / It was the day, the day before, my dear old Granny died / She was playing the piano in a field so far away”. It is written with her heart on her sleeve as she moulds her words to create various images. But, it is how they are delivered that steals the spotlight. You can feel how much this one means, as it oozes an honest emotion from beginning to end. But, this is not a solo effort as Leach uses her violin to stunning effect, adding to its already charming mood.
The bluesy mood returns with “Hard Time Blues”. There are so many great lyrical moments throughout this song. Out of them all, “There are many on the road that have gone before us / Many a good man has fallen low / Why does it seem that our hearts have gotten careless / And we are reaping just what we sow” stand out the most. However, it is the soundtrack that grabs the attention the most. It is a subtle and enchanting sound created by the partnership of Mayson’s guitar and Leach’s violin.
“Oh My God” changes the pace with its gentle but toe-tapping mood. Like those that have come before it, it features all the winning elements that make Mayson’s songs grab the listener’s attention. From her spellbinding storytelling to her equally impressive soundtrack. However, it does not stand out as much as those before it. It is hard to explain, but it is missing something that the other tracks possess. But, it is still a must-hear track, written to her usual high standard.
It’s time to relax with another musical duet by Mayson and Leach. They let their instruments dance around each other to create a soundtrack that grabs your attention from the start and does not let go until its end. You can hear how these two talented artists compliment each other. Together, they have the time to let their music breathe but allow the other some time in the spotlight. As a result, it creates yet another wonderful listening experience.
Bringing things to a close comes “We Got Time”. As soon as the guitar begins, it feels like this will be a special moment. Its playful manner continues to flow as the song progresses, with Leach’s violin joining in the fun. As the story begins, Mayson’s delivery of “We got time / We got time babe / To talk about it / Please tell me what you’re worrying about” matches the mood. It goes in full swing when the hook arrives with “Where you going, come and sit a little closer / Cos the blues gonna make you feel better and dry / Dry those pretty eyes”.
‘Asante Sana’ is a captivating collection of stories that are told with the same honest emotions as their words. It is the perfect showcase of the songwriting talents that Amy Mayson possesses.
“We Got Time” is a great way to finish an exceptional release that offers so much. It is music how it should be, honest and created with freedom. The results are a superb listening experience from beginning to end. Amy Mayson should be proud of what she has written and put together. Give her your time and give Asante Sana EP a listen today. It will not disappoint!