FFO Amelia Coburn – Perfect Storm | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Teesside singer-songwriter Amelia Coburn puts down the ukulele (for which she’s renowned) and picks up a dulcimer for her new single Perfect Storm. The track, with its stream-of-consciousness lyrics, is a trancey, psychedelic offering which sees Amelia’s melodic vocal soar above the music and across the astral plane. 

Here, Amelia Coburn gives us three tracks that would best describe this new musical offering…

Joni Mitchell – The Pirate of Penance
I could never compare myself to being anywhere near as talented as Joni Mitchell, but she has certainly been a big, if not the biggest, influence on the music I write today. She was the first folk musician I got into when growing up. While a lot of people cite ‘Blue’ as her best work, I have always been absolutely fascinated by her debut ‘Song to a Seagull.’ Both lyrically and musically, every single track is astounding. Joni Mitchell is able to effortlessly weave melodies and harmonies through dissonant chord changes in the most compelling and beautiful way, while her lyrics recount tales and stories full of rich, vivid imagery. This whole album really influenced me while writing my first ever song ‘Song of the Sea Rover,’ and I really wanted to transfer her storytelling and strange chord changes into my own music.

The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows
The Beatles, of course, don’t really need much explanation. But, as far as my own music is concerned, I love Paul McCartney’s English music hall melodies and sentimental lyrics. I took direct inspiration from this Tin Pan Alley style songwriting in my single ‘Dublin Serenade’, where I deliberately used jazz chords and slightly ‘twee’ lyrics as a head nod to Macca’s so-called ‘Granny Songs.’ On the other hand, for my latest single ‘Perfect Storm’, the John Lennon and George Harrison in me came out in full force. I took to writing more stream of consciousness lyrics and I was drawn to their Revolver-era psychedelic and easterni-influenced sound, which you can certainly hear echoes of in my song.

The Divine Comedy – A Drinking Song
Not sure where to begin with The Divine Comedy/Neil Hannon. First of all, I absolutely love his theatrical, Scott Walker-esque voice. Although his music is rooted in chamber pop, every track genre hops between folk-inflected pop to jazz, and sometimes even country or disco, but always underpinned by a wide array of playful instruments. Each song sounds like it’s from a different world, yet still inherently Divine Comedy. This, coupled with Hannon’s witty wordplay and often eccentric subject matter or title for songs (eg ‘The Pop Singer’s Fear of Pollen Count’), is something I hope to embody in my future releases.

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