There’s almost a barrier of entry to listening to Amy O. Not because her music isn’t great, but because when one goes to Spotify to look her music up, the remembering process begins. “Karen O? No, Jenny O. Oh wait, Amy O.” And all of them are actual artists! So then, where does Amy stand out in the illustrious O family, which was just made up right now? She stands out as a really good songwriter, wouldn’t you know it!
The tight, bitey riff on “Lavender Night” – the opener of Hoosier Amy O’s Elastic – is coiled and ready to pounce. It’s when the organ chirps come in that the neo-retro garage aesthetic is complete, sounding like “Rattlesnake” by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Not just in the production either — at its core, “Rattlesnake” can really be read as a pop song of sorts, under all the sludge. A collection of infectious, but still strikingly simple hooks are repeated ad infinitum for maximum effect. This is the approach that comes across in “Lavender Night,” as the simplicity approaches the same wicked infection, except played to a more sugary girl band style. A more vocal and lyric-driven chorus makes this introduction a great new perspective on a style that has become more popular. A …more lavender approach, if you will.
“Lavender Night” leaves quite the impact that makes the following few songs an aftermath. Just a fluke, maybe? “Sunday Meal” starts simple enough, strumming a low guitar with imagery-laden lyrics. But then that chord happens. That sudden quizzical minor chord, on the lyric “cold on your own,” elevates the song to meet the poetic lyrics. Amy O transforms from girl writing songs in her bedroom to bard observing the life around her. From “Rattlesnake” to “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground, except in both Amy O’s lyrics actually make some sense. Just when the comfort sets in, “Sunday Meal” transitions right into the playful riff of “Spacey Feeling.” The melody and song bounce around like a cheesy carnival game and before one knows it, they’re having fun! Music can be playful, who knew?
The same aftermath effect takes place for the next few songs, but this time it makes more sense. Pop music is meant to be experienced. Putting Elastic on works best as a cheery soundtrack for all the Juno’s out there. “David” then comes in as the second “Sunday Meal.” Again, this track allows for a nice release of tension where one can just sit and listen to Miss O pontificate for a while. Isn’t that what music is all about, anyway?